The BadVista campaign is an advocate for the freedom of computer users, opposing adoption of Microsoft Windows Vista and promoting free (as in freedom) software alternatives.
DefectiveByDesign.org is a broad-based anti-DRM campaign that is targeting Big Media, unhelpful manufacturers and DRM distributors. The campaign aims to make all manufacturers wary about bringing their DRM-enabled products to market. DRM products have features built-in that restrict what jobs they can do. These products have been intentionally crippled from the users’ perspective, and are therefore “defective by design”. This campaign will identify these defective products, and target them for elimination. Our aim is the abolition of DRM as a social practice.
Watch a video appeal from Eben Moglen, Board member and General
Counsel of the Free Software Foundation, covering the Novell and
Microsoft deal, GPLv3, the FSF’s campaign against DRM
(DefectiveByDesign.org) and software patents. You can help us save
bandwidth by downloading from Internet Archive and Coral Cache.
From the video:
Freedom is more precious than anything else we have and we need to protect it while we still can.
I’ve been thinking about Libre Software and networked learning. I revisited a speech given by Eben Moglen back in 2003. It makes much more sense to read the whole speech but lets look at some of what he said.
I’ve been covering the Free Software Foundation’s Defective By Designcampaign against Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies since its planning stages. Starting from scratch, in less than three months, the campaign has grown to 7000 members. This number is impressive.
Towards the end of this speech Richard explains why its important to use libre software in education, below I have transcribed the deepest reasons, you can download the video or download the audio for the whole speech.
Non-free software prohibits education, non-free software is the opposite of education. it says you are not allowed to learn because everything inside the software is secret.
When students are in their teenage years some of them become fascinated with machinery with software, they want to learn everything and these are the people that are going to become the great programmers, they’re the natural born programmers and all you have to do to enable them to become great programmers is give them free software, and say to them you can learn anything you want, its all exposed, nothing is secret because their going to want to learn about the software they’re using, they’ll type the commands to do something and wonder “how does the program do this when I give the command”, if they’re using non-free software the answer is “its a secret, your not allowed to learn, your not allowed to learn anything, all your allowed to learn is how to run it, your supposed to be ignorant” but with free software the school can say, the teachers can say “oh your curious, well go ahead, the program your using right now is this one and the source code is here, and I’ll even help you find the part of the source code that relates to this problem so that you can start learning”, and the next thing the student will do is say “I don’t think this program is exactly right, I’d like to try changing it”, with non-free software your helpless, non-free software keeps you helpless that’s what it means that its non-free, you cant study it or change it, with free software you can change it, the teachers can guide the students until the students don’t need any more guidance because they’ll learn, by the time they graduate from secondary school they can be accomplished capable programmers, capable of taking a job to do powerful programs, I’ve seen this happen plenty of times.
But the deepest reason applies to every student, schools are supposed to do more than just teach facts and skills, the most important thing for schools to teach is a good attitude towards other people, an attitude of cooperating with other people, helping them out when they need help so schools should say to the young students, to the kids when they first come to school “if you bring software to school you cant keep it for yourself, you must give copies to the other kids when they want copies”, of course the school has to practice its own rule, it has to practice what it preaches so the schools should supply only free software to these kids and that will teach them good habits of living, habits of sharing with other people, if I had a child who was in school, and the school starting trying to teach my child not to share with other people I would tell the teachers “don’t you dare say that to my child, I want my child to be a helpful, kind, cooperating person, don’t you dare say that sharing is wrong”, you know what they say, they say that if you share with other people your a pirate, they’re saying when they use that word what they mean is that helping your neighbor is morally equivalent of attacking ships and that is the opposite of morality, attacking ships is very bad, sharing with your neighbor is good and we should all encourage other people to share with our neighbors and anyone who says that sharing with neighbor is piracy , we have to say loud and clear that they are wrong.
A little while back I was interacting with a group known as TALO
and some of their members recently watched this movie so thanks for
finding the time to watch it, maybe more about them later. I worry that
some of the people in adult online education are like the Don Kings of
elearning and I don’t want to get dragged into that so we’ll see what
Henri Poole writes “In an interview with Groklaw’s Sean Daly at GPLv3 Conference in Barcelona, RMS talks with passion about the dangers of DRM. From the article: ‘the point is, we shouldn’t be passive victims! We should decide that it will not happen! And the way we decide that is by activism. We have to do everything possible to make sure that those products are rejected, that they fail, that they give bad reputations to whoever makes them.’ He closed the interview with a far reaching goal for the Free Software Movement: ‘the goal is to liberate everyone in cyberspace.’”
DefectiveByDesign.org is a campaign of the Free Software Foundation Empowered by CivicActions.com Copyright 2006 Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA. Verbatim copying and distribution of site content permitted worldwide, without royalty, in any medium, provided this notice, and the copyright notice, are preserved.
Newsforge has the story FSF launches anti-DRM campaign outside WinHEC 2006
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) launched its anti-Digital Rights Management (DRM) campaign in Seattle this morning. When attendees of the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2006 arrived at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center to hear a keynote address by Bill Gates, a small group of FSF members and their local allies were waiting to greet them, dressed in yellow hazmat suits and handing out pamphlets explaining that Microsoft products are — in the words of the key slogan for the campaign — “defective by design” because of the DRM technologies included in them.