Why FOSS Matters to Me (But Maybe Not to You)
The Free Software Foundation is having a video contest on the subject "Why is free software important to you?" It's a timely topic, with Windows 7 just out and with the free software community's bickering so bitter as of late that common goals sometimes seem in danger of being forgotten.
I lack any talent for making videos, but the contest has me thinking: Why is free software important to me? And why isn't it important to most people around me? The two questions are more closely connected than you might at first think.
A change in software and relationships
In some ways, I can explain what my interest in free software is not about more easily than I can explain it is about. My coding is mostly limited to scripts and modifications of existing code, so having the source code is only an indirect benefit to me.
Similarly, covering free software as a writer has few benefits for me. Probably, I would have more markets and larger audiences if I wrote about hardware, Windows, or even OS X. Nor do I care much that the software is free for the download. I cannot even claim any great hatred of Microsoft.