February 4, 2002
6:24 AM   Subscribe

"The Right to Read." A short story from Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation. What *could* happen to education, innovation, and intellectual freedom if all information becomes property.
posted by sheauga (8 comments total)
If you found yourself suddenly "cut off" from your online passwords when when you left school, these links are for you!
posted by sheauga at 6:27 AM on February 4, 2002

A very interesting reading, a must I should say.
And it's not pure-academic-theory that seems to be boring to a lot of people. Just go and read it.
posted by elpapacito at 8:25 AM on February 4, 2002

This is a superb post, with some nice crunchy links. Thanks sheauga.

Stallman makes a good case: that copy-protection will move us towards a "pay per read" culture where it is a crime to lend a book. Sounds alarmist? It's already happening ...
posted by walrus at 9:24 AM on February 4, 2002

sheauga, on what basis would you assume that after you sever a business relationship with an educational institution, they have an obligation to continue to offer computing services? Outside of a specific contract, of course.
posted by dhartung at 11:02 AM on February 4, 2002

I wasn't attempting to imply there exists an implicit obligation to supply computing services to alumni.

I'm trying to point out that our current system promotes social and intellectual inequality. Is it possible for someone to write like dhartung without access to any information except network news and the public library? (If so, I'm not seeing much evidence of this on MetaFilter.)

Access to information = strength of your economic purchasing power +/or strength of your affiliations.

Would there be half as many complaints about the quality of media coverage if everyone had home access to Dialog, Lexis/Nexis, and streaming video?
posted by sheauga at 1:07 PM on February 4, 2002

Oops! Pardon me, I seem to have stumbled into slashdot.
posted by ilsa at 2:23 PM on February 4, 2002

Or worse. "Ruby Ridge or Waco types" like Laura Bush, attempting to circulate books at public expense.
posted by sheauga at 5:49 PM on February 4, 2002

I seem to have stumbled into slashdot.

Look again, ilsa. The articles are primarily about reading, not programming. Copyright applied to books long before it applied to code.

Great links, sheauga - thanks.
posted by rory at 2:56 AM on February 5, 2002

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