The intersection of ethics, law, business and computer software is the subject of these essays and speeches by MacArthur Foundation Grant winner, Richard M. Stallman. This collection includes historical writings such as The GNU Manifesto, which defined and launched the activist Free Software Movement, along with new writings on hot topics in copyright, patent law, and the controversial issue of "trusted computing." Stallman takes a critical look at common abuses of copyright law and patents when applied to computer software programs, and how these abuses damage our entire society and remove our existing freedoms. He also discusses the social aspects of software and how free software can create community and social justice.
Given the current turmoil in copyright and patent laws, including the DMCA and proposed CBDTPA, these essays are more relevant than ever. Stallman tackles head-on the essential issues driving the current changes in copyright law. He argues that for creativity to flourish, software must be free of inappropriate and overly-broad legal constraints. Over the past twenty years his arguments and actions have changed the course of software history; this new book is sure to impact the future of software and legal policies in the years to come.
Lawrence Lessig, the author of two well-known books on similar topics, writes the introduction. He is a noted legal expert on copyright law and a Stanford Law School professor.