World Social Forum: Activists Urge Free Open-Source Software
- World Social Forum: Activists Urge Free Open-Source Software
By Alan Clendenning
January 30, 2005 by the Associated Press
PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil -- Activists at a leftist gathering
where Microsoft is viewed as a corporate bogeyman urged
developing nations Saturday to leap into the information age
with free open-source software.
John Barlow, a lyricist for the Grateful Dead, told a
gathering inside a packed warehouse that poor nations can't
solve their problems unless they stop paying expensive
software licensing fees.
Open source software includes programs that are not
controlled by a single company. The software can be developed
by anyone, with few restrictions. The best known such
software is the Linux operating system, which can be
downloaded free from the Internet.
"Already, Brazil spends more in licensing fees on proprietary
software than it spends on hunger," said Barlow, co-founder
of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a cyberspace civil
"Whom the gods would destroy they first give control of
both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue."
"Well, while I'm here I'll do the work and what's the work?
To ease the pain of living. Everything else, drunken dumbshow."