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Free Software Model in other Areas of Economy(*)

Authors: Jose Monserrat Neto(1), Danijel Orsolic(2), Ivan Stojic(3)

(1) Computer Science Department - Universidade Federal de Lavras (UFLA)
Lavras - MG - Brazil

(2) - Zagreb - Croatia

(3) Department of Mathematics - Faculty of Science - University of Zagreb
Zagreb - Croatia

rijik [at], libervis [at], ivstojic [at]

Since this is the first edition of new \"Computing Our Liberty\" monthly \"look-back commentary and announcements article\" i would first like to introduce you to it. The idea is to *compute* our computing liberties as they were the past month time and as they are now. This means that we will review and comment major free software related events happening last month and their impact on our computing freedoms, that is, mainly our software freedoms.

When I wrote \"Why the Free Software Movement is Doomed to Failure\" I dismissed mankinds desire for Freedom. That was a premise that instantly knocked the foundations for my text to pieces. Freedom is a core value in people and no individual is willing to give it up voluntarily. Dismissing Freedom simply is unrealistically pessimistic.

As I stated earlier, people are not flocking to Free Software. The question is; why? Individuals value Freedom. Groups value Freedom. Why is Free Software still not as dominant as Closed Source Software (CSS) then?

The Free Software Movement is a shining example of a group of people believing in ideals that seem to be worth believing in. Software should be Free, meaning that everybody has a right to use, modify and distribute it if they so desire. Complete and free sharing of the basic building blocks of our current society. Freedom of information.

Some people worry that free software/open source movement leads to the developers being a new "workers" class exploited by the free software companies. In the time when big companies such as RedHat, Sun, HP, Novell etc. are proving how economically viable open source business model can be, some people wonder what's up with "poor" free software programmers and developers who happily contribute their work and source codes to the community for the sake of freedom and bettering the whole society without getting anything in return, economically speaking.