Free Culture

Freeing Users Not Copying Innovation

A complaint I read occasionally in opinion pieces is that Open Source (sic) software tends to just be copies of innovative new commercial software (sic).

This is another example of how “Open Source” leads people’s thinking astray.

Free Software is not motivated by the desire to copy software of any kind. It is concerned with the freedom of individuals to use that software. If an “innovative” new piece of software is released that does not respect the freedom of its users and if that software becomes popular then it becomes important to produce an alternative that does respect users’ freedom.

This is not copying software because Open Source can’t innovate, it is producing a Free Software alternative because “innovators” don’t respect freedom often enough.

Rather than demanding that Open Source software “innovate”, demand that “innovators” produce Free Software and respect their users’ rights.