By Samir Chopra

ISBN-10: 0203942140

ISBN-13: 9780203942147

ISBN-10: 0415978939

ISBN-13: 9780415978934

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Software is greater than a collection of directions for desktops: it permits (and disables) political imperatives and guidelines. Nowhere is the possibility of radical social and political switch extra obvious than within the perform and circulation often called "free software." unfastened software program makes the data and innovation of its creators publicly on hand. This liberation of code―celebrated in loose software’s explicatory slogan "Think loose speech, now not loose beer"―is the root, for instance, of the Linux phenomenon.

Decoding Liberation provides a synoptic point of view at the relationships among unfastened software program and freedom. concentrating on 5 major themes―the emancipatory strength of know-how, social liberties, the facilitation of creativity, the objectivity of computing as clinical perform, and the function of software program in a cyborg world―the authors ask: What are the freedoms of unfastened software program, and the way are they manifested? This booklet is key interpreting for a person drawn to realizing how unfastened software program provides to rework not just know-how yet society as well.

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Additional info for Decoding Liberation: The Promise of Free and Open Source Software (Routledge Studies in New Media and Cyberculture)

Sample text

This growth presented several technical and governance challenges. As the number of new developers grew, bringing new and diverse ideas for the direction of the kernel’s development, Torvalds’s original design of the kernel as one large interrelated piece of code became unmanageable. The kernel was therefore redesigned as a cluster of smaller, more independent, modules of code. A similar crisis, demonstrating the challenge of forking and the role of technical solutions in solving governance problems, arose in 1998, when Torvalds began to ignore important contributions to the Linux kernel.

In a series of essays written in the late 1990s, he offers analyses of the distinguishing features of the FOSS development model (“The Cathedral and the Bazaar” [Raymond 2001]), its unique treatment of property (“Homesteading the Noosphere” [Raymond 2000]), and its internal economic logic (“The Magic Cauldron” [Raymond 2004]). In “The Magic Cauldron,” Raymond asserts that FOSS produces value because it views the software industry as one based on service rather than manufacturing. For Raymond, a software good has both use-value and sale-value.

But this disciplining is made difficult by the availability to workers of empowering technological advances, their education, and their independence as they choose schedules and work assignments. The corporate owner therefore must deploy a delicate mix of cooperation and co-optation. One form this co-optation takes is the introduction and promulgation of corporate ideals. indb 26 6/8/07 12:07:34 PM Free Software and Political Economy 27 the FOSS community makes concessions — in the choice of licensing scheme,21 in the mixing of proprietary and free software,22 or in the diversion of labor to closed source projects23 — these ideals are reinforced.

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