Liberation of Information - inevitable or in need of advocacy?

Liberation of Information - inevitable or in need of advocacy?


I recently read a german book named 'Liberation of Information'. (http://die-befreiung-der-information.de) Its a small introduction to free software and its historic roots, coupled with a short description of the changes which the music/movie industry is facing and the opportunities the 'Net gives people to collaborate.

In the end (p.158), the author says something about the disagreements which arise in the movement now and then (like the GNU/Linux naming controversy, copyleft-licenses or public-domain software, collaboration with the proprietary world, etc). He claims that most of them emerge out of a different view of the participants of the movement, about whether the liberation of information is a natural process which will continue and finally suceed simply because it's superior to proprietary information production methods, or if the freeing of all information is a struggle which has to be fought against hostile interests.

Do you think this is an appropriate formula to explain the major disagreements in the free software/free culture movement? And what's your position?

Mauro Bieg's picture
Submitted by Mauro Bieg on

My position is rather the one that the liberation of information isn't something which will suceed for sure. Like every new concept or idea, it is something which people have to promote, so it gets known in the world. If the proprietary business world (Microsoft, record labels, Hollywood, pharma industry) wouldn't have taken such an agressive and conservative attitude towards these emerging commons-owned production methods, which often rely highly on peer production, it might have been a matter of time for those methods to suceed - simply because they're more economical. But with the old industry trying to squash us by means of technology (DRM) and law (DMCA, patents, restrictive copyright), I personally think that this is a fight worth to be fought, considering how much is at stake: a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.