Tue, 04 Jan 2005

Just wrapped up listening to an hour long NPR show featuring Lawrence Lessig. Informative piece for ‘newbies’ but nothing particularly insightful for people who have followed him for a while- there is a Real stream in the link for listening.

The last call-in question he took was well done: a caller who was apparently a musician, and was strongly opposed to giving her stuff away for free. Lessig jumped right in and strongly said ‘I’m here to give choice- if you don’t want to give your stuff away, you don’t have to. I’m not at all opposed to that, if that model works for you.’ I strongly agree with Lessig here, and I think this probably encapsulates my biggest disagreement with the doctrinal RMS/FSF position on free software. I believe strongly there is a fundamental right to write and use Free software (which implies a right to reverse engineer and a moral requirement for open standards) and I would find it fairly distasteful (and/or boring) to work on non-Free software personally. But I don’t believe that writing proprietary software is something that is immoral or should be restricted/prohibited, and I can’t get particularly worked up about the GPL/LGPL distinction.

Slightly related: Lessig is a good FSF board member; he corrected the use of ‘Open Source’ and used GNU/Linux.