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#56#57#58#59 Episode #60 - Mutual Aid: Principles and Practice
(from Free Software to Social Centers)



Sat 28 April 2001  Richard Stallman
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2Advocates of capitalism say that innovation is based on the profit motive, and insist that the two are inseparable. However, most of humanity's greatest innovations were not spurred by individual profit motives. Agriculture, architecture, boats and wheeled vehicles, artificial light and heat. All were freely shared and led to the general betterment of all. The idea of intellectual property is a recent one and is inextricably tied to a dog eat dog view of social relations. This week's speaker is computer programmer Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software movement, who makes the case that it in fact holds back innovation and is socially detrimental.
This week, a two hour lecture from Richard Stallman. He takes us from the early days of programming as a small community of enthusiasts in which a gift economy prevailed by default, through the involvement of large companies and the disturbance hey brought with their perpetual quest for profit, to the present day in which a vibrant free and open source software community exists worldwide. He reveals himself to be both a far sighted and politically astute man by telling how a proprietary driver for a (then, extremely rare and expensive) laser printer lead him to create the GPL (GNU public license) and to start the GNU project as a defence against the coming onslaught of commercial actors with restrictive legal agreements and closed source software.
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