The Growing Politicization of Open Source

Tim O’Reilly has clarified his opposition to the CA proposed law requiring California government to use socialist software. He explains that it’s a violation of “Freedom Zero“, the exercise of free will. Dave Winer’s reason for opposition was simpler, “they’re out of their minds.

It’s funny that we have all of this political activity going on at the same time that everyone is fussing about the inability of geeks to prevent the scourge of pro-RIAA legislation. Even funnier is that the activism against RIAA has taken the form of support for a Libertarian candidate.

This juxtaposition of political poles is lost on Doc Searls. He responds to Dave’s comments on Lessig, saying, That vision in Washington won’t change unless we do something about it. Larry and Dave are both doing their part. And they’re both on the same side of this thing, along with everybody else who truly cares about the Net.”

I am sorry to say so, but Lessig and Dave couldn’t be more different. The two tend to agree when it comes to software patents, and especially when it comes to the particularly abominable pieces of DMCA. But the fundamental philisophical differences begin to be revealed when the subject is copyright. Lessig is like Stallman; a collectivist opposed to individual property rights. Dave is like Tim; in favor of individual liberty.

How is it that the certain people have time to clone 30 year-old Unix utilities but not enough time to create really new things? How is it that certain people will politic so tirelessly to coerce California into using lousy software, while totally ignoring the individual liberty impacts of DMCA?

It’s pretty obvious that there is a difference in priorities here.

BTW, a couple of weblogs have been talking about the possibility of a mapping web service. I think they want Mappoint.NET.

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