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Hello all. I need to write a paper on the Ethical Issues involving Open Source for a college class. Our textbook is "Readings in CyberEthics: Second Edition". There are two ...
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    Ethical Issues in Open Source


    Hello all. I need to write a paper on the Ethical Issues involving Open Source for a college class. Our textbook is "Readings in CyberEthics: Second Edition". There are two articles that I read that pertain to Open Source, one is "Ethical Issues in Open Source Software" by Frances S, Grodzinsky, Keith Miller, and Marty Wolf. It gives a good overview of Open Source and the history involved. The other article is the famous, "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" by Eric Raymond. Both were very interesting to read, however, I would like to take a different approach or "spin" on the topic. The history of OSS is well known so I don't want to go the route everyone takes on the issue. Does anyone have any unique takes or suggestions for interesting topics that I could pursue? Thanks in advance.

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    First of all exlplain the difference between Open Source Software(OSS) and Free Software(FSF/GNU).

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    I have posted my first draft of the paper. This is the one I'm going to turn in for the class. Because it is a very short class (only three weeks long), I wish I had more time to work on it. Still, if you have any suggestions or comments please let me know. I would be happy to tweak and revise it over the summer.

    http://www.simpson.edu/~carlsonp/research.html

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    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    You may be interested in a book called 'The Hacker Ethic' by Pekka Himanen. This is the first book about Linux that I read, and what really got me interested in Open Source (though I don't consider myself a 'hacker' as such). You can find the book on amazon.

    I really liked your paper by the way! Not surprisingly, I identify with practically everything you wrote, although I doubt that Open Source alone will deliver us from 'pure capitalism' - money as the root of everything.

    You might mention that R. Stallman also wrote the Emacs editor, though this is a very small point. An idea which you could lift from the Himanen book is that our modern society is based on the Protestant work ethic, and that hackerism is a return to a 'work for fun and reward' model. You do touch on this in fact, but I just wanted to respond to your paper

    To add a little more, the Himanen book discusses the idea of the 'Nethic' and suggests that this is the moral code which binds the hacker. They seek respect from their fellow hackers (who may be women... I'm not suggesting 'men only' for a minute). They want to create something, but at the same time consolidate their community, which they also feel protective towards - The Nethnic!
    I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

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    "GNU Unix operating system" should be "GNU Unix-like operating system." GNU stands for "GNU's Not Unix"...

    "Barring the GPL license, it is probably the most important piece of writing to come out of the Open Source movement in my view."
    Ehh... the GPL was meant to be a free license, not an open source license.

    I'll read more later when I've time.

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    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a thing
    Ehh... the GPL was meant to be a free license, not an open source license.
    How so? There are plenty of "free" licenses (such as the BSD license) that don't dictate open-source specifically. The GPL is unique in that it mandates open-source. I can't see how you'd be able to consider it as anything *but* an open-source license.
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    Linux Engineer psic's Avatar
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    Just a thought: there are a few more good things written by Erik Raymond:
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/

    I read 'The Unix Koans of Master Foo' last night, very interesting.
    Stumbling around the 'net:
    www.cloudyuseful.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by techieMoe
    Quote Originally Posted by a thing
    Ehh... the GPL was meant to be a free license, not an open source license.
    How so? There are plenty of "free" licenses (such as the BSD license) that don't dictate open-source specifically. The GPL is unique in that it mandates open-source. I can't see how you'd be able to consider it as anything *but* an open-source license.
    Might depend on who you ask...
    However, the GPL is in first place an FSF thingy.
    Not all FSF/GNU people (like R. Stallman) fully support OSS.
    Their movement is The Free Software Foundation with GNU as their project and not simply everything OSS related.

    PS: Stallman never liked it when people called it OSS instead of FSF...

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    On the point of responsibility for software, don't users, either implicitly or otherwise, agree to the licence agreement when they use a piece of software? That puts the responsibility frimly in the users hands, unless of course the documentation to the software is purposefully misleading.
    registered linux user: 387197

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    Regarding the GPL I believe that when it was created the term OSS did not
    even exist.Anyhow the question is a bit philosophical.If someone asks if GPL
    is FS or OS (that's an inclusive or by the way) then it depends on what
    is meant by "is".The philosophy behind GPL was the FS philosophy rather than
    the OS philosophy.But in practical terms software under the GPL serves the
    goals of both communities.

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