Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Interview with Open Source Advocate Keith Curtis on Software Wars

Filed under
Interviews
OSS

The impact of software has changed our lives. But the average technology consumer doesn't realize how important having access to source code and an open development process is to our overall freedom. Keith Curtis, a University of Michigan dropout turned decade-long programmer at Microsoft turned open source advocate, wants to change that.

On his website, Curtis says, "We need to pool our collective intelligence and get to work on fixing our most serious threats—and in today's society that begins with having great software." In his book, After the Software Wars, Curtis exploits the flaws in the proprietary software development model. And today, he's taking the whole thing mainstream by making a film.

"If you can control the software, its like controlling the flow of oil," says Linux creator Linus Torvalds in a trailer promoting Software Wars. Other free software advocates are also featured in the promo.

We caught up with Curtis during the final days of his Indiegogo campaign to discuss the hopes for the new film.

rest here




More in Tux Machines

Firefox OS media-casting stick strikes Kickstarter gold

The first Firefox OS based media player has arrived on Kickstarter, in the form of a $25 open-spec HDMI stick that supports Chromecast-like content casting. The Matchstick, which has already zoomed past its Kickstarter campaign’s $100,000 funding goal, with 28 days still remaining, was teased back in June by Mozilla developer evangelist Christian Heilmann. The unnamed prototype was billed as an open source HDMI stick that runs Mozilla’s Linux-based Firefox OS and offers casting capabilities. Few details were revealed at the time except that the device used the same DIAL (DIscovery And Launch) media-casting protocol created by Netflix and popularized by Google’s Chromecast. Read more

Open source history, present day, and licensing

Looking at open source softwares particularly, this is a fact that is probably useful to you if you are thinking about business models, many people don't care about it anymore. We talk about FOSS, Free and Open Source Software, but if we really are strict there's a difference between free software and open source software. On the left, I have free software which most typically is GPL software. Software where the license insures freedom. It gives freedoms to you as a user, but it also requires that the freedoms are maintained. On the right-hand side, you have open source software which is open for all, but it also allows you to close it. So here we come back to the famous clause of the GPL license, the reciprocity requirement which says, "If I am open, you need to be open." So software that comes under the GPL license carries with it something that other people call a virus. I call it a blessing because I think it's great if all software becomes open. Read more

Leftovers: Software

Proprietary

today's howtos