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- To: "Monica Narula" <monica@xxxxxxxxx>, "Jeebesh bagchi" <jeebesh@xxxxxxxxx>, "Shuddhabrata Sengupta" <shuddha@xxxxxxxxx>, "Ravi Sundaram" <ravis@xxxxxxxxx>, "Ravi Vasudevan" <raviv@xxxxxxxxx>, "Saumya Gupta" <sgupta@xxxxxxxxx>, "Supreet Sethi" <supreet@xxxxxxxxx>, "Pankaj Kaushal" <pankaj@xxxxxxxxx>, "Ruchika Agarwal" <ruchika@xxxxxxxxx>, "Ravikant" <ravikant@xxxxxxxxx>, "Deepu Sharan" <sharan@xxxxxxxxx>, "Aditya Nigam" <aditya@xxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: free software
- From: "Naksi Ink" <naksink@xxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2001 01:45:22 +0530
- Importance: Normal
- Resent-date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 08:04:27 +0000
- Resent-from: pankaj@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Resent-message-id: <20010228080427.5EDB6198E@localhost>
- Resent-sender: apenguinhead@xxxxxxxxx
- Resent-to: linux-delhi@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
I have some problem regarding the argument raised against the proprietary
model of software. The argument is, information or knowledge never
diminishes as it is shared. So it can be shared freely and should be
non-proprietary. It means this argument establishes the argument for the
proprietary model of such commodities, which are perished with usage and
consumption. It provides legitimation to the whole model of market economy,
which is based on proprietorship. The argument of non-proprietary software
movement basically establishes the supremacy of proprietary model and
defines itself as an exception rather than upholding a holistic attitude
towards all the commodities used by mankind.
This argument raised by custodian of free-software community tries to single
out themselves from the rest of the society as a special case. It doesn?t
challenge the accumulation and protection of wealth. Rather exploits the
material limitation of other commodities for its expansion and growth.
Indirectly it actually opposes the free availability and distribution of
perishable commodities and justifies the exploitive nature of market
economy. I find that theory very selfish theory. It actually means if
knowledge diminishes by sharing they will never share it!!
Their theory doesn?t guarantee against the blockage of knowledge to protect
the power acquired through control over knowledge. Because according to the
theory if anything diminishes as a result of sharing they are not going to
do it. I am raising this point because certain kind of knowledge requires
certain kind of access, which is dependent on wealth and power. Knowledge is
not only matter of information but also matter of infrastructure.
Infrastructure is a perishable commodity. In many cases just availability of
books or CD does not help, instruments and hardware are extremely important
which they think should be proprietary because those things are perishable.
This means they want and at the same time they don?t want free distribution
of knowledge!! It looks as if it demands respectable status of non-criminal
act within the value system of market economy.
Rather I recommend that argument might be, every commodity ideally should be
freely available and non-proprietary but in market economy something like
certain form of information can only be circulated freely because it does
not require accumulation of wealth to reproduce.
My concern is free software movement should not be seen and identified as
isolated event with which larger section of the community can not
communicate. Rather it should be seen as a part of larger social
One more important point I would like to discuss. If we condemn cracking it
means we are condemning stealing. Though stealing might not be a justifiable
act and as I am not elaborating but I would like to put some light on the
fact that we have lots of facts and fictions which try to examine the act of
stealing. Some time they even end up justifying it! We have seen lots of
Hindi films and some stories and novels on this subject. I just want to say
we can see the word and act of cracking more critically rather than
condemning it just by saying ?hacking is not cracking?. As sometime we try
to see software piracy critically.