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How world-changing are the culture and politics of free software?

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| Free Software provides a radical form of openness which is, perhaps, a very
| American way of constituting a public (suspicious of the state and
| corporations, obsessed with ideas of balance and fairness, and a weird mix of
| individualism and populism). The question I think it raises is whether, as a
| politics it has a content. Free Software as it exists has an insanely refined
| focus on form over political content (and this is the source of the suspicion
| about the dominance of the technical). But the question is: is this focus on
| form itself a particular kind of political content? At some level yes, but it
| is one that is open to, and maybe even encourages people to challenge it. It
| is a way of saying: if this is a (for instance) “libertarian” form, it is one
| that you are allowed to change–so make it less libertarian if you believe
| that will make it better. It says nothing, however, about whether people will
| have the power to do that, which is its weakest feature, its inability to
| incorporate the concrete fact that history has led us to this point.”


Last week:

Free Software movement fights to keep internet freedom in Brazil

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| A proposed new law that restricts the freedom internet use in Brazil has
| already passed the Senate and is dangerously close to going on the books. The
| law, created by Senator Azeredo PSDB, restricts things like open wifi
| networks, forces ISP’s to keep user information for 3 years and gives ISP’s
| the ‘green light’ to open and look at packages coming from P2P user’s
| connection to check for copyright violations, and the list goes on and on.
| [...]
| It is quite of a big surprise to see such law coming from a government that
| has defended the use of Free Software, supported the Creative Commons license
| inside of its Ministry of Culture and promoted initiatives of digital
| inclusion and knowledge sharing. Hopefully, the proposed legislation will be
| blocked and internet users from Brazil will not have to be worry about being
| monitored by packet sniffing by ISP’s. Otherwise, Brazil will become one of
| the biggest users of TOR, a free software that provides anonymity online.



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| ...is
| * * the practice of (i) mislabeling as property a limited monopoly granted by
| * * society as a means to get, after an originally short period of
| * * deprivation, more creative works available for all to enjoy and build
| * * upon; (ii) promoting the extension of the monopoly and other
| * * authoritarian laws that grant authoriterrorists technical and legal means
| * * to steal from society the fulfillment of the goal of copyrights; (iii)
| * * using these technical and legal measures and scare tactics to stop people
| * * from using works in ways that fall outside the scope or the period of the
| * * monopoly; (iv) brainwashing people so they believe they don't and
| * * shouldn't have the right to use works in these ways, that it would
| * * somehow harm authors (as if authoriterrorists didn't), and that it is the
| * * moral equivalent of invading ships, stealing the cargo and enslaving or
| * * murdering the tripulation.
| Not quite sure what a tripulation is, but anyway....

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