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Download Copy, Rip, Burn: The Politics of Copyleft and Open Source by David Berry PDF

By David Berry

From downloading song and flicks to gaining access to loose software program, electronic media is forcing us to reconsider the very concept of highbrow estate. whereas substantial businesses whinge approximately misplaced gains, the person hasn't ever loved such freedom and autonomy. Berry explores this debate in a concise method, providing a terrific advent for a person now not versed within the legalistic terminology that -- up previously -- has ruled assurance of this issue.Looking on the historic improvement of the loose software program and the open resource flow he examines its progress, politics and capability impression, displaying how the information that encouraged the move have now started to steer the broader cultural panorama. He explores even if loose software program deals us the aptitude to re-think our courting with know-how within the info society. This ebook will entice scholars of media and journalism, and somebody attracted to new possibilities for making a really autonomous and democratic media.

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The licences therefore function as an organising device in managing people involved in FLOSS projects and a means of social control. They also have an important educative and reinforcement role ensuring that the agency of the developers is ‘framed’ within a particular field of action. Those who expressly ‘break’ or ignore the terms of licences such as the GPL will be variously flamed, hacked or subjected to email and discussion board altercation. Although there is a variety of different open source licences, such as the Berkeley Software Distribution License (BSD), Apple Public License and the Mozilla/Netscape Public License, a large percentage of software written under open source is released under the GPL and the BSD licences.

In the US, this has led to the extension of patents to software (which is already protected by copyright) through ‘business process’ protection. The arguments in favour of this expansion are extremely contentious. Broad patenting could lead to the propertisation of the basic building blocks of computer programming itself. An example is the Amazon One-Click patent, which gives Amazon a 20-year monopoly on the single-click method of buying goods online (and, remember, clicking is one of the most basic web ‘actions’ possible).

Here are individuals seemingly committing large amounts of time and effort to a common project that has produced some of the most startling technical developments in recent memory. The Internet itself can be conceived as a vast FLOSS project linking together a diverse range of software elements that have been freely shared and are available for others to download, use and adapt. One example is the GNU/Linux operating system that has grown from a small unstable student project into one of the world’s cheapest, modern, stable and reliable operating systems, putting some commercial products to shame.

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