The war on sharing

Free as in freedom
Free as in freedom

Richard Stallman, referred to in Wikipedia as a software freedom activist, spoke about the war on sharing. He questioned how on earth sharing could be seen as bad, argued that true piracy should really involve ships and pirates and fighting (fair enough) and put forward some ideas for sorting out the copyright mess that has left some authors without ownership of their own work, and the rest of us without the ability to share.  He talked of the “Kindle Swindle”, Digital Rights Management (DRM) and the conspiracy of governments (or at least collusion) as digital media becomes more and more restricted. Watch out you folks with your e-books, he warns, if everything is on your e-reader device, then to share a book will mean sharing your personal library. Which means you won’t. Which means you will upset your friends; and your friends will think you’re a jerk.

From trying to control your computer by forcing updates, to removing (yes removing!!) a book (1984) from your e-reader, there is a war on sharing.

Richard’s advice includes:

  • Don’t buy restricted DVDs
  • Pay for things with cash
  • Step away from the e-reader!

2 thoughts on “The war on sharing

  1. Donna October 12, 2009 / 6:57 am

    You’ve synthesised Mr Stallman in a far more organised fashion than me! This session explained a lot about the big push to e-books and readers etc that I remember from the first time around. And the story about Amazon removing 1984 from the Kindle seemed so ridiculous it has to be true.

  2. Simone October 14, 2009 / 2:36 am

    Interesting – I didn’t know that Amazon took cash 😉

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