Free the Software

Libertarians envision a society where people may choose to share freely with one another; without fear of copyright infringement or legal threats from so-called intellectual property rights.

Hackers, like Jim, have been contributing to voluntary solutions to the problem via "CopyLeft" and the "Free Software Movement".

Free Software refers, not to price, but to unencumbered access to both the source code (the actual code that comprises software) and a community of users with whom we may freely change, improve, and re-distribute the code.  In this way, we are referring to free as in "speech"; but not necessarily as in "beer".

Government officials would benefit the lives of their constituents by encouraging both the ethos and the practices of the free software movement.

Voting machines, which have been a source of controversy and mistrust, would be near impossible to use for fraud if every citizen, and independent software community, could have access to the source code for audit and review. Never again could "miscalculations" be blamed on simple oversight.

Use of "Free" operating systems and software in schools would not only reduce costs; but provide students with the unique opportunity to cease viewing computers as "toys" and become sophisticated participants in the software community.