An individual who uses Open Source Software almost exclusivley and activley encourages others to do the same. While I myself am slipping into this category of person I do not consider myself in the same ballpark as RMS, and other more radical advocates.

What I really like is the idea of an open source operating system. This allows programmers to really become familiar with the internal workings of the operating system and write software which does not conflict (or hopefully takes advantage) of the way the operating system works. Since a computer is little more than decoration without an Operating System the idea of paying for both the machine and these basic tools with which to use it is actually offensive. It's like buying a car without an engine (while I do understand that the OS cost is usually figured into the cost of the computer, much like the engine in a car, it's more like buying a car with the hood welded shut).

I do however find myself becoming more and more of a radical every day. Each time I hear of a company or government doing something which makes life more difficult for the open source community I feel the urge to push back.
Examples (in no particular order):
1.) CueCat (Digital Convergence) changes their EULA to specifically forbid reverse engineering their product and sends cease and desist orders to authors of linux drivers for their product.

2.) Supreme Court Allows Microsoft Case to go through the Appeals court.

3.) DeCSS cease and desist orders

4.) The RIAA's move to shut down Napster

5.) linking can constitute copyright infringement

6.) The MPAA and other copyright holders want copy protection built into VCRs and other recording devices that will keep users from recordings some shows broadcast in digital format over cable.

7.) One word: Carnivore

8.) The DMCA

9.) Software Patents

10.) MS Kerberos (well these lists always go to 10 don't they?)
You'll notice that not all of these griefs are particularly "open source" issues, but reflect more on copyright and intellectual property as well as touching on plain old "feedom of speech" however all of these principals are very important to the advancement of Open Source Software. Cases like these set legal precedents which can further be used to make life difficult for those of us who value our freedom.

Now, let me get off this soapbox, it's kind of high up here.


Thanks to slashdot for some of the text in the "ten list" I tried to use examples cited on /. as most users here are familiar with that source, there are others as well.

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