Sunday, November 15, 2009

Missing the point: It’s time to talk about software freedom

"To conclude, I’d like to pose some broader questions for members of the library profession. Should libraries purchase ebooks that come with DRM, which limits what the user can do with the information? Should they purchase digital information sources that can only be used on certain types of devices? This is particularly true for digital audio ebooks, but it also applies to other types of information. Why are so few librarians visible in the Free Software Foundations’s campaign against DRM ( How are members of the profession promoting the free circulation of information if they don’t ensure that this is true not only in the print world, but also in the digital one? Finally, if members of the library profession, with its commitment to free access to information, don’t take action to preserve our own and our users’ digital freedoms, who will do it for us? What is the future of libraries if we don’t?"

in reference to:

"What is the opposite of software freedom? Some people might say software slavery, but I prefer to call it software imprisonment. By choosing to use non-free (or proprietary) software, users become metaphorical prisoners of their software vendor, and a common phrase for this is ‘vendor lock-in’ (which is nicely connected to the notion of imprisonment). This means that the vendor, and only the vendor, has the power to decide what features the software will have, which bugs to fix and which to call ‘features’, when to require users to upgrade to a newer version, and when to discontinue support for a software package."
- reflections » Missing the point: It’s time to talk about software freedom (view on Google Sidewiki)

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