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r1315@kochinka: ash | 2007-06-03 22:52:48 +0300
anarchism: довършвам един абзац.

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4<article lang="bg">
5  <title>Триумфиращият анархизъм</title>
6  <articleinfo>
7    <releaseinfo>$Id: anarchism.bg.xml 1152 2007-06-03 19:53:10Z ash $</releaseinfo>
8  </articleinfo>
9
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11  <!-- base
12       href="http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue4_8/moglen/index.html"
13  -->
14
15  <!--
16       <meta name="Description" content="This paper shows why free software, far from
17       being a marginal participant in the commercial software market, is the
18       first step in the withering away of the intellectual property system.">
19       <meta name="Keywords" content="anarchism triumphant, free software, death of copyright, Linux operating system kernel, software as property, article">
20       <meta name="DC.Title" content="Anarchism triumphant">
21       <meta name="DC.Title" content="Free software and the death of copyright">
22       <meta name="DC.Creator" content="Moglen, Eben">
23       <meta name="DC.Subject" content="anarchism triumphant, free software, death of copyright, Linux operating system kernel, software as property, article">
24       <meta name="DC.Description" content="This paper shows why free software, far from being a marginal participant in the commercial software market, is the
25       first step in the withering away of the intellectual property system.">
26       <meta name="DC.Publisher" content="Valauskas, Edward J.">
27       <meta name="DC.Publisher" content="Dyson, Esther">
28       <meta name="DC.Publisher" content="Ghosh, Rishab Aiyer">
29       <meta name="DC.Date" content="1999-08-02">
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33       <meta name="DC.Language" content="en">
34       <meta name="DC.Relation" content="IsPartOf First Monday, vol 4, no. 8"></head><body alink="#ffee99" bgcolor="#ffffff" link="#bb7777" text="#000000" vlink="#7777bb">
35
36<blockquote><img src="anarchism_files/logo.gif" alt="First Monday" align="bottom" border="0" height="40" width="256"><br>
37
38</blockquote>
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41
42  <para><ulink url="http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue4_8/moglen/index.html#author"><!-- <img src="anarchism_files/moglen.gif" alt="Anarchism Triumphant: Free Software and the Death of Copyright" border="0">--> </ulink></para>
43
44  <blockquote><para>Разпространението на ядрото за операционни системи
45  Линукс насочи вниманието към движението за свободен софтуер.  Това есе
46  показва защо свободният софтуер, който далеч не е нищожен участник в
47  пазара на комерсиален софтуер, е важната първа стъпка в премахването
48  на системата на интелектуална собственост.</para></blockquote>
49
50  <section>
51    <title>Софтуерът като собственост: Теоретичният парадокс</title>
52
53    <para><emphasis>Софтуер</emphasis>: никоя друга дума не въплъщава
54    толкова пълно рактическите и социалните ефекти на цифровата революция.
55    Първоначално терминът е бил чисто технически и е означавал частите на
56    една компютърна система, която за разлика от "хардуера" -- направен
57    непроменим от производителя си в електрониката на системата, е можел
58    свободно да бъде променян.  Първият софтуер е представлявал начина на
59    включване на кабели и прекъсвачи на външните панели на електронни
60    устройства, но още с появата на езикови средства за промяната на
61    поведението на компютъра, "софтуер" започнал да обозначава предимно
62    изразяванията в повече или по-малко понятех за хората език, който
63    както описвал, така и контролирал поведението на машината<footnote>
64    <para>1. Тази отлика е била само приблизителна в първоначалния
65    контекст.  В края на 60-те определена част от основните операции
66    на хардуера са контролирани от програми, които са цифрово кодирани
67    в електрониката на компютърното оборудване, които не могат да
68    бъдат променяни веднъж след като продукцията е излязла от
69    фабриката.  Такива символни, но непроменими компоненти, са били
70    известни като "микрокод" на жаргона на индустрията, но стана
71    обичайно те да се наричат "фърмуеър".  Изменчивостта, както бе
72    показано от термина "фърмуеър" (# БЕЛЕЖКА ЗА ЗНАЧЕНИЕТО НА
73    КОРЕНИТЕ НА ДУМИТЕ СОФТУЕР, ХАРДУЕР, ФЪРМУЕР),се отнася главно към
74    възможността на потребителите да изменят символите, които
75    определят поведението на машината.  Понеже цифровата революция
76    доведе до широката употреба на компютрите от технически
77    некомпетентни лица, повечето от традиционния софтуер -- приложни
78    програми, операционни системи, инструкции за числово управление и
79    т. н. -- е, за повечето от потребителите си, фърмуер.  Може да е
80    символен, а не електронен в начина, по който е направен, но те не
81    могат да го променят, дори и да искат, нещо което те често, но
82    безсилно и с негодуванние правят.  Това "затвърдяване на софтуера"
83    е основното условие на собственическия подход към законовата
84    организация на цифровото обществео, което е темата на този
85    доклад.</para></footnote>.</para>
86
87    <para>Така е било тогава, а сега е така: технологиите базирани на
88    обработката на информация кодирана в цифров вид сега е социално
89    доминираща в повечето аспекти на човешката култура в "развитите"
90    общества.  <footnote><para>2. В рамките на сегашното поколение,
91    самата концепция за социално "равитие" се измества от притежанието
92    на индустрия основана на двигател с вътрешно горене към
93    "пост-индустрия" базирана на цифровите комуникации и свързаните с
94    тях форми на икономическа дейност, основани на
95    "знания".</para></footnote>.  Преминаването от аналогово към
96    цифрово представяне -- във видеото, музиката, печатането,
97    телекомуникациите и дори хореографията, религиозните церемонии и
98    сексуалното задоволяване (# religious worship, sexual
99    gratification) -- потенциално превръща всички форми на човешката
100    символна дейност във софтуер, то ест -- променими инструкции за
101    описание и управление на поведението на машините.  Чрез
102    концептуално постформиране, характено за западното научно мислене,
103    разделението между хардуера и софтуера се наблюдава в природния
104    или социалния свят и е станал нов начин за изразяване на конфликта
105    между идеите на детерминизъм и свободната воля, природата и
106    възпитанието, или гените и културата.  (# Какво е backformation?
107    Аналог на transformation ли?  By a conceptual back-formation
108    characteristic of Western scientistic thinking, the division
109    between hardware and software is now being observed in the natural
110    or social world, and has become a new way to express the conflict
111    between ideas of determinism and free will, nature and nurture, or
112    genes and culture.)  Нашият "хардуер", който е генетично зададен е
113    нашата природа и ни определя.  Нашето възпитание е "софтуера",
114    който задава културното ни прграмиране, което е нашата относителна
115    свобода.  И така нататък, за неразумно дърдорещите. (# And so on,
116    for those reckless of blather).<footnote><para>3. Всъщност, едно
117    бързо замисляне ще разкрие, че нашите гени са фърмуеър.
118    Еволюцията направи прехода от аналогово към цифрово още преди
119    периода на първите вкаменелости.  Но ние не притежавахме властта
120    за управлявани, преки промени.  До завчера.  През следващото
121    столетие гените също ще се превърнат в софтуер и въпреки че не
122    разглеждам проблема по нататък в това есе, политиеските
123    последствия на несвободността на софтуера в този контекст са още
124    по-плашещи в сравнение с културните артефакти.</para></footnote>
125    Този "софтуер" се превръща в жизнеспособна метафора за цялата
126    символна активност, която очевидно е разведена (еманципирана) от
127    техническия контекст на произхода на думата, въпреки неудобството,
128    което се появява в технически компетентните, когато термина влиза
129    в устите на хората, като се изпуска концептуалното значение на
130    неговия произход.<footnote><para>4. <emphasis>Виж
131    напр.:</emphasis> J. M. Balkin, 1998. <emphasis>Cultural Software:
132    a Theory of Ideology.</emphasis> New Haven: Yale University
133    Press.</para></footnote></para>
134
135
136    <para>Но широкото възприемане на използването на цифровите
137    технологии от тези, които не разбират принципите на действието им,
138    въпреки, че лицензира (#позволява, licenses) широкото метафорично
139    наемане на "софтуера", всъщност не ни позволява да забравим, че
140    сега компютрите са навсякъде под нашата социална кожа.  Движението
141    от аналогово към цифрово е по-важно за структурата на социалните и
142    юридическите отношения отколкото по известното, но по-несигурно
143    преминаване от статс към договор (# from status to contract)
144    <footnote><para>5. <emphasis>Виж</emphasis> Henry Sumner Maine,
145    1861. <emphasis>Ancient Law: Its Connection with the Early History
146    of Society, and Its Relation to Modern Idea.</emphasis> First
147    edition. London: J. Murray.</para></footnote>.  Това са лоши
148    новини за тези правни мислители, които не го разбират, и което е
149    причината толкова много преструване на разбиране така добре да
150    процъфтява.  Потенциално обаче, нашето велико преминаване е много
151    добра новина за тези, които могат да превърнат новооткритата земя
152    в своя собственост.  Това е и причината текущите "притежатели" на
153    софтуера толкова силно да поддържат и насърчават невежеството на
154    всички останали.  За тяхно нещастие -- по причини известни на
155    правните теоретици, които все още не са разбрали как да прилагат
156    традиционната си логика в тази сфера -- трикът няма да се
157    задейства.  Това есе обяснява защо<footnote><para>6. По принцип не
158    харесвам вмъкването на автобиография в изследователската дейност.
159    Но понеже това тук е мое тъжно задължение, а и голямо удоволствие
160    да оспоря квалифицираността или <emphasis>bona fide-то</emphasis>
161    на кажи-речи всеки, трябва да си позволя преценка на себе си.  За
162    първи път бях изложен на занаята (#вещината - craft) на
163    компютърното програмиране през 1971г.  Започнах да получавам
164    надник като комерсиален програмист през 1973г. -- на възраст от 13
165    г.  и продълавах така в разнообразие от компютърни услуги,
166    инжинерство и многонационални технологически предрпиятия
167    (#enerprises) до 1985г.  През 1975 спомогнах за написването на
168    една от първите системи за електронна поща в САЩ.  От 1979г. бях
169    зает с проучването и разработката на висши компютърни езици за
170    програмиране в Ай Би Ем.  Тези дейности направиха икономически
171    възможно за мен да изучавам исторически науки и юридическото
172    лукавство.  Заплатата ми бе достатъчна да заплати таксите за
173    обучението ми, но не - за да изпреваря аргуметна, който
174    икономоджетата ще направят по-надолу - защото програмите ми са
175    били интелектуалната собственост на работодателя ми, а по-скоро,
176    защото караха хардуера, който работодателят ми продаваше, да
177    работи по-добре.  Повечето от това, което написах бе на практика
178    свободен софтуер.  Въпреки, че след това имах някакъв незначителен
179    технически принос към самото движение свободе софтуер, описано в
180    този документ, основните ми дейности от негово име бяха
181    юридически.  В последните пед години служих (естествено без да ми
182    се плаща) като главния юристконсулт на Фондацията за свободен
183    софтуер.</para></footnote>.</para>
184
185    <para>Трябва да започнем като разгледаме техническата същност на
186    подобните устройства, които ни заобикалят в ерата на
187    <quote>софтуера в културата</quote>.  CD плеърът е добър пример.
188    Основният мъ вход е поток от битове, който се чете от оптичен диск
189    за съхрание на дании.  Този поток описва музиката във вид на
190    замервания, които се правят 44000 пъти в секунда на честотата и
191    амплитудата на два аудио канала.  Основният изход на плеъра е
192    аналоговия аудио изход.  <footnote><para>7. Естествено - плеърът
193    има вторични входове и изходи на контролни канали - бутоните и
194    инфрачервения датчик за дистанционното управление са входове, а
195    дисплея за времето и поредната песен са изходи.</para></footnote>.
196    Както всичко друго в цифровия свят, музиката както бива видяна от
197    CD плеъра, е просто информация във вид на исла - един популярен
198    запис на Деветата симфония на Бетовен, записана от Артуро
199    Тосканини и Симфоничния оркестър и хор на Ен Би Си е (като
200    пропуснем няколко незначителни цифри) 1276749873424, а особенно
201    перверзният последен запис на Глен Гуд на Вариациите на Голдбърг е
202    (в също доста съкратен вид) 767459083268.</para>
203
204    <para>Колкото и да е странно, тези две числа са <quote>покрити от
205    авторското право</quote>.  Това хипотетично (би трябвало/разбираш
206    ли/supposedly FIXME) да означава, че не можете да притежавате
207    друго копие на тези числа след като веднъж са въплатени в някаква
208    физическа форма, освен ако не сте ги лицензирали.  А и не можете
209    да преобразувате 767459083268 в 2347895697 за вашите приятели (за
210    да поправите нелепия избор на Гуд за темпото), без да създадете
211    <quote>творба основана на друга</quote> (derivative
212    work FIXME), за което е необходим лиценз.</para>
213
214    <para>По същото време (FIXME At the same time) пообен оптичен диск
215    за съхранение на данни съдържа друго число, нека това да е
216    7537489532. Това е алгоритъмът за линейно програмиране на големи
217    системи с множество ограничения, който е полезен например, когато
218    искате да постигнете оптимално ползване на оборотните запаси
219    (FIXNE rolling stock) при управлението на товарна железница.  Това
220    число (в САЩ) е <quote>патентовано</quote>, което означава, че не
221    можете да получите числото 7537489532 за себе си или по някакъв
222    друг начин да <quote>упражнявате занаята</quote> (FIXME "practice
223    the art") на патента що се отнася до решаването на проблеми в
224    областта на линейното програмиране, независимо как сте достигнали
225    до идеята, дори и сами да сте се сетили, освен ако нямате лиценз
226    от притежателя на числото.</para>
227
228    <para>А идва и 9892454959483.  Това е изходния код на програмата
229    Word на Майкрософт.  Освен че <quote>подналежи на авторско
230    право</quote>, числото е й търговска тайна, което означава, че ако
231    го вземете от Майкрософт и го дадете на някой друг, можете да
232    бъдете наказан.</para>
233
234    <para>И най-накрая - ето го и числото 588832161316.  То не прави
235    нищо и е просто 767354 на квадрат.  Доколкото ми е известно, то не
236    е притежавано по горнит параграфи от никой. Поне засега.</para>
237
238    <para>В този момент трябва да се справим с първото възражение към
239    наученото.  То идва от същество, което се нарича доридИС.  Този
240    дроид е с префинен ум и изтънчен живот.  На него много му се
241    харесват изтънчените вечери на академичните и министерси
242    конференции за ТРИПС (FIXME - няма ли каламбур тука), да не
243    говорим за привилигеията често да се появява на MSNBC (FIXME - има
244    ли някой конкретно предвид или се подиграва на МС).  На него му се
245    иска да знам, че допускам грешката да бъркам въплащението на
246    интелектуалната собственост със самата нея.  Не числото е
247    патентовано, глупча, само алгоритъма на Камаркар.  Числото
248    <emphasis>може</emphasis> може да бъде покрито от авторското
249    право, понеже правото покрива изразните качества на конкретно,
250    осезаемо въплащение на идея (в което въплащение някои функционални
251    качества могат да бъдат мистериозно слети, стига да не са
252    прекалено слети) (FIXME- какво име предвид), но не покрива
253    алгортъма.  А числото не е подлежало на патентоване, само
254    <quote>преподаването</quote> му доколкото се отнася до това
255    железниците да работят по разписание.  И числото, което
256    представлява търговската тайна на Майкрософт Уърд можело да бъде
257    търговска тайна, но ако сте го открили самостоятелно (като
258    например извършите аритметическа обработка на други числа издадени
259    от Майкрософт, което е познато като <quote>реверсивно
260    инжинерство</quote>), нама да сте бъдели наказани, поне ако
261    живеете в няои части на Съединените щати.</para>
262
263    <para>Този дроид, подобна на други нему, често е прав.  Условието
264    да си дроид е да знаеш всичко за нещо и нищо за всичко останало.
265    Със своевременната си и спешна намеса дроидът установи, за
266    текущата система за интелектуална собственот съдържа множество
267    заплетени и умно намислени черти.  Сложнотиите се комбинират,
268    което позволява на професорите да са ерудираним на конгресмените
269    да бъдат спонсорирани за кампаниите си, на адвокаите да носят
270    хубави костюми и мокасини с пискюли (FIXME - tassel loafer,
271    префърцунени налъми с пискюлче), а на Мърдок да е богат.
272    Сложнотиите са се развили в ерата на индустриалното
273    разпространение на информация, когато информацията е била записана
274    в аналогова форма върху физически обекти, които са стрували доста,
275    за да бъдат направени, преместени и продадени.  Когато бъдат
276    приложени към цифровата информация, която безпроблемно се движи
277    през мрежата и е с нулеви маргинални разходи за копие, всичко
278    продължава да си работи, най-вече докато не си извадита главата от
279    пясъка (не си отворите затворените очи).</para>
280
281    <para>Но не за това спорих.  Исках да посоча нещо друго: нашият
282    свят се състои все повече и повече от не друго, а големи числа
283    (още известни като потоци от битове), и освен това - по причини,
284    които нямат нищо общо с появяващите се свойства на самите числа
285    (FIXME - emergent properties, сигурно от някакъв учебник по
286    физика) - юридическата система в момента се е заела да се отнася
287    към подобни числа по радикално различен начин.  Никой не е в
288    състояние да каже като погледне число, което е дълго 100 милиона
289    цифри, дали същото това число е подложено на патентна,
290    авторскоправна защита или такава на търговската тайна, и дали в
291    действителност е <quote>притежавано</quote> въобще от някой.  Така
292    че законовата система, която имаме - както и да сме благословени с
293    нейните последици, ако и да сме преподватели по авторско право,
294    конгресмени, огушили се с Гучи потребители (FIXME - gulcher - дали
295    е просто набуквяване) е заставена да третира неразличими неща по
296    различни начини.</para>
297
298    <para>Now, in my role as a legal historian concerned with the secular
299    (that is, very long term) development of legal thought, I claim that
300    legal regimes based on sharp but unpredictable distinctions among
301    similar objects are radically unstable. They fall apart over time
302    because every instance of the rules' application is an invitation to
303    at least one side to claim that instead of fitting in ideal category A
304    the particular object in dispute should be deemed to fit instead in
305    category B, where the rules will be more favorable to the party making
306    the claim. This game - about whether a typewriter should be deemed a
307    musical instrument for purposes of railway rate regulation, or whether
308    a steam shovel is a motor vehicle - is the frequent stuff of legal
309    ingenuity. But when the conventionally-approved legal categories
310    require judges to distinguish among the identical, the game is
311    infinitely lengthy, infinitely costly, and almost infinitely offensive
312    to the unbiased bystander <footnote><para>8. This is not an insight
313    unique to our present enterprise. A closely-related idea forms one of
314    the most important principles in the history of Anglo-American law,
315    perfectly put by Toby Milsom in the following terms:</para>
316    <blockquote><para>The life of the common law has been in the abuse of
317    its elementary ideas. If the rules of property give what now seems an
318    unjust answer, try obligation; and equity has proved that from the
319    materials of obligation you can counterfeit the phenomena of
320    property. If the rules of contract give what now seems an unjust
321    answer, try tort. ... If the rules of one tort, say deceit, give what
322    now seems an unjust answer, try another, try negligence. And so the
323    legal world goes round.</para></blockquote><para>S.F.C. Milsom,
324    1981. <emphasis>Historical Foundations of the Common Law.</emphasis>
325    Second edition. London: Butterworths, p. 6.</para> </footnote>.</para>
326
327    <para>Thus parties can spend all the money they want on all the
328    legislators and judges they can afford - which for the new "owners" of
329    the digital world is quite a few - but the rules they buy aren't going
330    to work in the end. Sooner or later, the paradigms are going to
331    collapse. Of course, if later means two generations from now, the
332    distribution of wealth and power sanctified in the meantime may not be
333    reversible by any course less drastic than a <emphasis>bellum
334    servile</emphasis> of couch potatoes against media magnates. So
335    knowing that history isn't on Bill Gates' side isn't enough. We are
336    predicting the future in a very limited sense: we know that the
337    existing rules, which have yet the fervor of conventional belief
338    solidly enlisted behind them, are no longer meaningful. Parties will
339    use and abuse them freely until the mainstream of "respectable"
340    conservative opinion acknowledges their death, with uncertain
341    results. But realistic scholarship should already be turning its
342    attention to the clear need for new thoughtways.</para>
343
344    <para>When we reach this point in the argument, we find ourselves
345    contending with the other primary protagonist of educated idiocy: the
346    econodwarf. Like the IPdroid, the econodwarf is a species of hedgehog,
347    <footnote><para>9. <emphasis>See</emphasis> Isaiah Berlin,
348    1953. <emphasis>The Hedgehog and the Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy's View
349    of History.</emphasis> New York: Simon and Schuster.</para>
350    </footnote> but where the droid is committed to logic over experience,
351    the econodwarf specializes in an energetic and well-focused but
352    entirely erroneous view of human nature. According to the econodwarf's
353    vision, each human being is an individual possessing "incentives,"
354    which can be retrospectively unearthed by imagining the state of the
355    bank account at various times.  So in this instance the econodwarf
356    feels compelled to object that without the rules I am lampooning,
357    there would be no incentive to create the things the rules treat as
358    property: without the ability to exclude others from music there would
359    be no music, because no one could be sure of getting paid for creating
360    it.</para>
361
362    <para>Music is not really our subject; the software I am considering
363    at the moment is the old kind: computer programs. But as he is
364    determined to deal at least cursorily with the subject, and because,
365    as we have seen, it is no longer really possible to distinguish
366    computer programs from music performances, a word or two should be
367    said. At least we can have the satisfaction of indulging in an
368    argument <emphasis>ad pygmeam</emphasis>.  When the econodwarf grows
369    rich, in my experience, he attends the opera.  But no matter how often
370    he hears <emphasis>Don Giovanni</emphasis> it never occurs to him that
371    Mozart's fate should, on his logic, have entirely discouraged
372    Beethoven, or that we have <emphasis>The Magic Flute</emphasis> even
373    though Mozart knew very well he wouldn't be paid. In fact,
374    <emphasis>The Magic Flute</emphasis>, <emphasis>St. Matthew's
375    Passion</emphasis>, and the motets of the wife-murderer Carlo Gesualdo
376    are all part of the centuries-long tradition of free software, in the
377    more general sense, which the econodwarf never quite
378    acknowledges.</para> <!--<center><img
379    src="anarchism_files/mog1.gif"></center> --> <para> The dwarf's basic
380    problem is that "incentives" is merely a metaphor, and as a metaphor
381    to describe human creative activity it's pretty crummy. I have said
382    this before, <footnote> <para>10. <emphasis>See</emphasis> <ulink
383    url="http://emoglen.law.columbia.edu/my_pubs/nospeech.html">The
384    Virtual Scholar and Network Liberation.</ulink></para> </footnote> but
385    the better metaphor arose on the day Michael Faraday first noticed
386    what happened when he wrapped a coil of wire around a magnet and spun
387    the magnet. Current flows in such a wire, but we don't ask what the
388    incentive is for the electrons to leave home. We say that the current
389    results from an emergent property of the system, which we call
390    induction. The question we ask is "what's the resistance of the wire?"
391    So Moglen's Metaphorical Corollary to Faraday's Law says that if you
392    wrap the Internet around every person on the planet and spin the
393    planet, software flows in the network. It's an emergent property of
394    connected human minds that they create things for one another's
395    pleasure and to conquer their uneasy sense of being too alone. The
396    only question to ask is, what's the resistance of the network?
397    Moglen's Metaphorical Corollary to Ohm's Law states that the
398    resistance of the network is directly proportional to the field
399    strength of the "intellectual property" system. So the right answer to
400    the econodwarf is, resist the resistance.</para>
401
402    <para>Естествено, всичко това звучи много добре на теория.
403    „Съпротивлявай се на съпротивата“ звучи добре, но ще се окажем
404    пред сериозен проблем, каквато и да е теорията, ако открием, че не
405    се произвежда достатъчно софтуерна стока, ако не позволяваме на
406    хората да я притежават.  Но джуджетатат и дроидите са формалисти
407    от различно естество, предимството на реализма е, че ако започнеш
408    с фактитв, те винаги са на твоя страна.  Оказва се, че да се
409    отнасяме към софтуера като съм собственост, води до правенето на
410    лош софтуер.</para>
411
412  </section>
413  <section>
414    <title>II. Software as Property: The Practical Problem</title>
415
416    <para>In order to understand why turning software into property
417    produces bad software, we need an introduction to the history of the
418    art. In fact, we'd better start with the word "art" itself. The
419    programming of computers combines determinate reasoning with literary
420    invention.</para>
421
422    <para>At first glance, to be sure, source code appears to be a
423    non-literary form of composition <footnote><para>11. Some basic
424    vocabulary is essential. Digital computers actually execute numerical
425    instructions: bitstrings that contain information in the "native"
426    language created by the machine's designers. This is usually referred
427    to as "machine language." The machine languages of hardware are
428    designed for speed of execution at the hardware level, and are not
429    suitable for direct use by human beings. So among the central
430    components of a computer system are "programming languages," which
431    translate expressions convenient for humans into machine language. The
432    most common and relevant, but by no means the only, form of computer
433    language is a "compiler." The compiler performs static translation, so
434    that a file containing human-readable instructions, known as "source
435    code" results in the generation of one or more files of executable
436    machine language, known as "object code."</para> </footnote>.  The
437    primary desideratum in a computer program is that it works, that is to
438    say, performs according to specifications formally describing its
439    outputs in terms of its inputs. At this level of generality, the
440    functional content of programs is all that can be seen.</para>
441
442    <para>But working computer programs exist as parts of computer
443    systems, which are interacting collections of hardware, software, and
444    human beings. The human components of a computer system include not
445    only the users, but also the (potentially different) persons who
446    maintain and improve the system. Source code not only communicates
447    with the computer that executes the program, through the intermediary
448    of the compiler that produces machine-language object code, but also
449    with other programmers.</para>
450
451    <para>The function of source code in relation to other human beings is
452    not widely grasped by non-programmers, who tend to think of computer
453    programs as incomprehensible. They would be surprised to learn that
454    the bulk of information contained in most programs is, from the point
455    of view of the compiler or other language processor, "comment," that
456    is, non-functional material. The comments, of course, are addressed to
457    others who may need to fix a problem or to alter or enhance the
458    program's operation. In most programming languages, far more space is
459    spent in telling people what the program does than in telling the
460    computer how to do it.</para>
461
462    <para>The design of programming languages has always proceeded under
463    the dual requirements of complete specification for machine execution
464    and informative description for human readers. One might identify
465    three basic strategies in language design for approaching this dual
466    purpose.  The first, pursued initially with respect to the design of
467    languages specific to particular hardware products and collectively
468    known as "assemblers," essentially separated the human- and
469    machine-communication portions of the program. Assembler instructions
470    are very close relatives of machine-language instructions: in general,
471    one line of an assembler program corresponds to one instruction in the
472    native language of the machine. The programmer controls machine
473    operation at the most specific possible level, and (if
474    well-disciplined) engages in running commentary alongside the machine
475    instructions, pausing every few hundred instructions to create "block
476    comments," which provide a summary of the strategy of the program, or
477    document the major data structures the program manipulates.</para>
478
479    <para>A second approach, characteristically depicted by the language
480    COBOL (which stood for "Common Business-Oriented Language"), was to
481    make the program itself look like a set of natural language
482    directions, written in a crabbed but theoretically human-readable
483    style. A line of COBOL code might say, for example "MULTIPLY PRICE
484    TIMES QUANTITY GIVING EXPANSION." At first, when the Pentagon and
485    industry experts began the joint design of COBOL in the early 1960's,
486    this seemed a promising approach. COBOL programs appeared largely
487    self-documenting, allowing both the development of work teams able to
488    collaborate on the creation of large programs, and the training of
489    programmers who, while specialized workers, would not need to
490    understand the machine as intimately as assembler programs had to. But
491    the level of generality at which such programs documented themselves
492    was wrongly selected. A more formulaic and compressed expression of
493    operational detail "expansion = price x quantity," for example, was
494    better suited even to business and financial applications where the
495    readers and writers of programs were accustomed to mathematical
496    expression, while the processes of describing both data structures and
497    the larger operational context of the program were not rendered
498    unnecessary by the wordiness of the language in which the details of
499    execution were specified.</para>
500
501    <para>Accordingly, language designers by the late 1960s began
502    experimenting with forms of expression in which the blending of
503    operational details and non-functional information necessary for
504    modification or repair was more subtle. Some designers chose the path
505    of highly symbolic and compressed languages, in which the programmer
506    manipulated data abstractly, so that "A x B" might mean the
507    multiplication of two integers, two complex numbers, two vast arrays,
508    or any other data type capable of some process called
509    "multiplication," to be undertaken by the computer on the basis of the
510    context for the variables "A" and "B" at the moment of execution
511    <footnote> <para>12. This, I should say, was the path that most of my
512    research and development followed, largely in connection with a
513    language called APL ("A Programming Language") and its successors. It
514    was not, however, the ultimately-dominant approach, for reasons that
515    will be suggested below.</para> </footnote> .  Because this approach
516    resulted in extremely concise programs, it was thought, the problem of
517    making code comprehensible to those who would later seek to modify or
518    repair it was simplified. By hiding the technical detail of computer
519    operation and emphasizing the algorithm, languages could be devised
520    that were better than English or other natural languages for the
521    expression of stepwise processes. Commentary would be not only
522    unnecessary but distracting, just as the metaphors used to convey
523    mathematical concepts in English do more to confuse than to
524    enlighten.</para>
525
526    <section>
527      <title>How We Created the Microbrain Mess</title>
528
529      <para>Thus the history of programming languages directly reflected the
530      need to find forms of human-machine communication that were also
531      effective in conveying complex ideas to human readers. "Expressivity"
532      became a property of programming languages, not because it facilitated
533      computation, but because it facilitated the collaborative creation and
534      maintenance of increasingly complex software systems.</para>
535
536      <para>At first impression, this seems to justify the application of
537      traditional copyright thinking to the resulting works. Though
538      substantially involving "functional" elements, computer programs
539      contained "expressive" features of paramount importance. Copyright
540      doctrine recognized the merger of function and expression as
541      characteristic of many kinds of copyrighted works. "Source code,"
542      containing both the machine instructions necessary for functional
543      operation and the expressive "commentary" intended for human readers,
544      was an appropriate candidate for copyright treatment.</para>
545
546      <para>True, so long as it is understood that the expressive component
547      of software was present solely in order to facilitate the making of
548      "derivative works." Were it not for the intention to facilitate
549      alteration, the expressive elements of programs would be entirely
550      supererogatory, and source code would be no more copyrightable than
551      object code, the output of the language processor, purged of all but
552      the program's functional characteristics.</para>
553
554      <para>The state of the computer industry throughout the 1960's and
555      1970's, when the grundnorms of sophisticated computer programming were
556      established, concealed the tension implicit in this situation. In that
557      period, hardware was expensive. Computers were increasingly large and
558      complex collections of machines, and the business of designing and
559      building such an array of machines for general use was dominated, not
560      to say monopolized, by one firm. IBM gave away its software. To be
561      sure, it owned the programs its employees wrote, and it copyrighted
562      the source code. But it also distributed the programs - including the
563      source code - to its customers at no additional charge, and encouraged
564      them to make and share improvements or adaptations of the programs
565      thus distributed. For a dominant hardware manufacturer, this strategy
566      made sense: better programs sold more computers, which is where the
567      profitability of the business rested.</para>
568
569      <para>Computers, in this period, tended to aggregate within particular
570      organizations, but not to communicate broadly with one another. The
571      software needed to operate was distributed not through a network, but
572      on spools of magnetic tape. This distribution system tended to
573      centralize software development, so that while IBM customers were free
574      to make modifications and improvements to programs, those
575      modifications were shared in the first instance with IBM, which then
576      considered whether and in what way to incorporate those changes in the
577      centrally-developed and distributed version of the software. Thus in
578      two important senses the best computer software in the world was free:
579      it cost nothing to acquire, and the terms on which it was furnished
580      both allowed and encouraged experimentation, change, and improvement
581      <footnote><para>13. This description elides some details. By the
582      mid-1970's IBM had acquired meaningful competition in the mainframe
583      computer business, while the large-scale antitrust action brought
584      against it by the U.S. government prompted the decision to "unbundle,"
585      or charge separately, for software. In this less important sense,
586      software ceased to be free. But - without entering into the now-dead
587      but once-heated controversy over IBM's software pricing policies - the
588      unbundling revolution had less effect on the social practices of
589      software manufacture than might be supposed. As a fellow responsible
590      for technical improvement of one programming language product at IBM
591      from 1979 to 1984, for example, I was able to treat the product as
592      "almost free," that is, to discuss with users the changes they had
593      proposed or made in the programs, and to engage with them in
594      cooperative development of the product for the benefit of all
595      users.</para> </footnote>.  That the software in question was IBM's
596      property under prevailing copyright law certainly established some
597      theoretical limits on users' ability to distribute their improvements
598      or adaptations to others, but in practice mainframe software was
599      cooperatively developed by the dominant hardware manufacturer and its
600      technically-sophisticated users, employing the manufacturer's
601      distribution resources to propagate the resulting improvements through
602      the user community. The right to exclude others, one of the most
603      important "sticks in the bundle" of property rights (in an image
604      beloved of the United States Supreme Court), was practically
605      unimportant, or even undesirable, at the heart of the software
606      business <footnote> <para>14. This description is highly compressed,
607      and will seem both overly simplified and unduly rosy to those who also
608      worked in the industry during this period of its
609      development. Copyright protection of computer software was a
610      controversial subject in the 1970's, leading to the famous CONTU
611      commission and its mildly pro-copyright recommendations of 1979. And
612      IBM seemed far less cooperative to its users at the time than this
613      sketch makes out. But the most important element is the contrast with
614      the world created by the PC, the Internet, and the dominance of
615      Microsoft, with the resulting impetus for the free software movement,
616      and I am here concentrating on the features that express that
617      contrast.</para></footnote>.</para>
618
619      <para>After 1980, everything was different. The world of mainframe
620      hardware gave way within ten years to the world of the commodity PC.
621      And, as a contingency of the industry's development, the single most
622      important element of the software running on that commodity PC, the
623      operating system, became the sole significant product of a company
624      that made no hardware. High-quality basic software ceased to be part
625      of the product-differentiation strategy of hardware
626      manufacturers. Instead, a firm with an overwhelming share of the
627      market, and with the near-monopolist's ordinary absence of interest in
628      fostering diversity, set the practices of the software industry. In
629      such a context, the right to exclude others from participation in the
630      product's formation became profoundly important. Microsoft's power in
631      the market rested entirely on its ownership of the Windows source
632      code.</para>
633
634      <para>To Microsoft, others' making of "derivative works," otherwise
635      known as repairs and improvements, threatened the central asset of the
636      business. Indeed, as subsequent judicial proceedings have tended to
637      establish, Microsoft's strategy as a business was to find innovative
638      ideas elsewhere in the software marketplace, buy them up and either
639      suppress them or incorporate them in its proprietary product. The
640      maintenance of control over the basic operation of computers
641      manufactured, sold, possessed, and used by others represented profound
642      and profitable leverage over the development of the culture <footnote>
643      <para>15. I discuss the importance of PC software in this context, the
644      evolution of "the market for eyeballs" and "the sponsored life" in
645      other chapters of my forthcoming book, <emphasis>The Invisible
646      Barbecue</emphasis>, of which this essay forms a part.</para>
647      </footnote>.; the right to exclude returned to center stage in the
648      concept of software as property.</para>
649
650      <para>The result, so far as the quality of software was concerned, was
651      disastrous. The monopoly was a wealthy and powerful corporation that
652      employed a large number of programmers, but it could not possibly
653      afford the number of testers, designers, and developers required to
654      produce flexible, robust and technically-innovative software
655      appropriate to the vast array of conditions under which increasingly
656      ubiquitous personal computers operated. Its fundamental marketing
657      strategy involved designing its product for the least
658      technically-sophisticated users, and using "fear, uncertainty, and
659      doubt" (known within Microsoft as "FUD") to drive sophisticated users
660      away from potential competitors, whose long-term survivability in the
661      face of Microsoft's market power was always in question.</para>
662
663      <para>Without the constant interaction between users able to repair
664      and improve and the operating system's manufacturer, the inevitable
665      deterioration of quality could not be arrested. But because the
666      personal computer revolution expanded the number of users
667      exponentially, almost everyone who came in contact with the resulting
668      systems had nothing against which to compare them. Unaware of the
669      standards of stability, reliability, maintainability and effectiveness
670      that had previously been established in the mainframe world, users of
671      personal computers could hardly be expected to understand how badly,
672      in relative terms, the monopoly's software functioned. As the power
673      and capacity of personal computers expanded rapidly, the defects of
674      the software were rendered less obvious amidst the general increase of
675      productivity. Ordinary users, more than half afraid of the technology
676      they almost completely did not understand, actually welcomed the
677      defectiveness of the software. In an economy undergoing mysterious
678      transformations, with the concomitant destabilization of millions of
679      careers, it was tranquilizing, in a perverse way, that no personal
680      computer seemed to be able to run for more than a few consecutive
681      hours without crashing. Although it was frustrating to lose work in
682      progress each time an unnecessary failure occurred, the evident
683      fallibility of computers was intrinsically reassuring <footnote>
684      <para>16. This same pattern of ambivalence, in which bad programming
685      leading to widespread instability in the new technology is
686      simultaneously frightening and reassuring to technical incompetents,
687      can be seen also in the primarily-American phenomenon of Y2K
688      hysteria.</para> </footnote> .</para>
689
690      <para>None of this was necessary. The low quality of personal computer
691      software could have been reversed by including users directly in the
692      inherently evolutionary process of software design and implementation.
693      A Lamarckian mode, in which improvements could be made anywhere, by
694      anyone, and inherited by everyone else, would have wiped out the
695      deficit, restoring to the world of the PC the stability and
696      reliability of the software made in the quasi-propertarian environment
697      of the mainframe era. But the Microsoft business model precluded
698      Lamarckian inheritance of software improvements. Copyright doctrine,
699      in general and as it applies to software in particular, biases the
700      world towards creationism; in this instance, the problem is that BillG
701      the Creator was far from infallible, and in fact he wasn't even
702      trying.</para> <!--<center><img src="anarchism_files/mog2.gif"
703      hspace="0" vspace="0"></center>--> <para>To make the irony more
704      severe, the growth of the network rendered the non-propertarian
705      alternative even more practical. What scholarly and popular writing
706      alike denominate as a thing ("the Internet") is actually the name of a
707      social condition: the fact that everyone in the network society is
708      connected directly, without intermediation, to everyone else
709      <footnote> <para>17. The critical implications of this simple
710      observation about our metaphors are worked out in "How Not to Think
711      about 'The Internet'," in <emphasis>The Invisible Barbecue</emphasis>,
712      forthcoming.</para> </footnote>. The global interconnection of
713      networks eliminated the bottleneck that had required a centralized
714      software manufacturer to rationalize and distribute the outcome of
715      individual innovation in the era of the mainframe.</para>
716
717      <para>And so, in one of history's little ironies, the global triumph
718      of bad software in the age of the PC was reversed by a surprising
719      combination of forces: the social transformation initiated by the
720      network, a long-discarded European theory of political economy, and a
721      small band of programmers throughout the world mobilized by a single
722      simple idea.</para>
723
724    </section>
725    <section>
726
727      <title>Software Wants to Be Free; or, How We Stopped Worrying and
728      Learned to Love the Bomb</title>
729
730      <para>Long before the network of networks was a practical reality,
731      even before it was an aspiration, there was a desire for computers to
732      operate on the basis of software freely available to everyone. This
733      began as a reaction against propertarian software in the mainframe
734      era, and requires another brief historical digression.</para>
735
736      <para>Even though IBM was the largest seller of general purpose
737      computers in the mainframe era, it was not the largest designer and
738      builder of such hardware. The telephone monopoly, American Telephone
739      &amp; Telegraph, was in fact larger than IBM, but it consumed its
740      products internally. And at the famous Bell Labs research arm of the
741      telephone monopoly, in the late 1960's, the developments in computer
742      languages previously described gave birth to an operating system
743      called Unix.</para>
744
745      <para>The idea of Unix was to create a single, scalable operating
746      system to exist on all the computers, from small to large, that the
747      telephone monopoly made for itself. To achieve this goal meant writing
748      an operating system not in machine language, nor in an assembler whose
749      linguistic form was integral to a particular hardware design, but in a
750      more expressive and generalized language. The one chosen was also a
751      Bell Labs invention, called "C" <footnote> <para>18. Technical readers
752      will again observe that this compresses developments occurring from
753      1969 through 1973.</para> </footnote>. The C language became common,
754      even dominant, for many kinds of programming tasks, and by the late
755      1970's the Unix operating system written in that language had been
756      transferred (or "ported," in professional jargon) to computers made by
757      many manufacturers and of many designs.</para>
758
759      <para>AT&amp;T distributed Unix widely, and because of the very design
760      of the operating system, it had to make that distribution in C source
761      code.  But AT&amp;T retained ownership of the source code and
762      compelled users to purchase licenses that prohibited redistribution
763      and the making of derivative works. Large computing centers, whether
764      industrial or academic, could afford to purchase such licenses, but
765      individuals could not, while the license restrictions prevented the
766      community of programmers who used Unix from improving it in an
767      evolutionary rather than episodic fashion. And as programmers
768      throughout the world began to aspire to and even expect a personal
769      computer revolution, the "unfree" status of Unix became a source of
770      concern.</para>
771
772      <para>Between 1981 and 1984, one man envisioned a crusade to change
773      the situation. Richard M. Stallman, then an employee of MIT's
774      Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, conceived the project of
775      independent, collaborative redesign and implementation of an operating
776      system that would be true free software. In Stallman's phrase, free
777      software would be a matter of freedom, not of price. Anyone could
778      freely modify and redistribute such software, or sell it, subject only
779      to the restriction that he not try to reduce the rights of others to
780      whom he passed it along. In this way free software could become a
781      self-organizing project, in which no innovation would be lost through
782      proprietary exercises of rights. The system, Stallman decided, would
783      be called GNU, which stood (in an initial example of a taste for
784      recursive acronyms that has characterized free software ever since),
785      for "GNU's Not Unix."  Despite misgivings about the fundamental design
786      of Unix, as well as its terms of distribution, GNU was intended to
787      benefit from the wide if unfree source distribution of Unix. Stallman
788      began Project GNU by writing components of the eventual system that
789      were also designed to work without modification on existing Unix
790      systems. Development of the GNU tools could thus proceed directly in
791      the environment of university and other advanced computing centers
792      around the world.</para>
793
794      <para>The scale of such a project was immense. Somehow, volunteer
795      programmers had to be found, organized, and set to work building all
796      the tools that would be necessary for the ultimate construction.
797      Stallman himself was the primary author of several fundamental tools.
798      Others were contributed by small or large teams of programmers
799      elsewhere, and assigned to Stallman's project or distributed
800      directly. A few locations around the developing network became
801      archives for the source code of these GNU components, and throughout
802      the 1980's the GNU tools gained recognition and acceptance by Unix
803      users throughout the world. The stability, reliability, and
804      maintainability of the GNU tools became a by-word, while Stallman's
805      profound abilities as a designer continued to outpace, and provide
806      goals for, the evolving process. The award to Stallman of a MacArthur
807      Fellowship in 1990 was an appropriate recognition of his conceptual
808      and technical innovations and their social consequences.</para>
809
810      <para>Project GNU, and the Free Software Foundation to which it gave
811      birth in 1985, were not the only source of free software
812      ideas. Several forms of copyright license designed to foster free or
813      partially free software began to develop in the academic community,
814      mostly around the Unix environment. The University of California at
815      Berkeley began the design and implementation of another version of
816      Unix for free distribution in the academic community. BSD Unix, as it
817      came to be known, also treated AT&amp;T's Unix as a design
818      standard. The code was broadly released and constituted a reservoir of
819      tools and techniques, but its license terms limited the range of its
820      application, while the elimination of hardware-specific proprietary
821      code from the distribution meant that no one could actually build a
822      working operating system for any particular computer from BSD. Other
823      university-based work also eventuated in quasi-free software; the
824      graphical user interface (or GUI) for Unix systems called X Windows,
825      for example, was created at MIT and distributed with source code on
826      terms permitting free modification. And in 1989-1990, an undergraduate
827      computer science student at the University of Helsinki, Linus
828      Torvalds, began the project that completed the circuit and fully
829      energized the free software vision.</para>
830
831      <para>What Torvalds did was to begin adapting a computer science
832      teaching tool for real life use. Andrew Tannenbaum's MINIX kernel
833      <footnote> <para>19. Operating systems, even Windows (which hides the
834      fact from its users as thoroughly as possible), are actually
835      collections of components, rather than undivided unities. Most of what
836      an operating system does (manage file systems, control process
837      execution, etc.) can be abstracted from the actual details of the
838      computer hardware on which the operating system runs. Only a small
839      inner core of the system must actually deal with the eccentric
840      peculiarities of particular hardware.  Once the operating system is
841      written in a general language such as C, only that inner core, known
842      in the trade as the kernel, will be highly specific to a particular
843      computer architecture.</para> </footnote> , was a staple of Operating
844      Systems courses, providing an example of basic solutions to basic
845      problems. Slowly, and at first without recognizing the intention,
846      Linus began turning the MINIX kernel into an actual kernel for Unix on
847      the Intel x86 processors, the engines that run the world's commodity
848      PCs. As Linus began developing this kernel, which he named Linux, he
849      realized that the best way to make his project work would be to adjust
850      his design decisions so that the existing GNU components would be
851      compatible with his kernel.</para>
852
853      <para>The result of Torvalds' work was the release on the net in 1991
854      of a sketchy working model of a free software kernel for a Unix-like
855      operating system for PCs, fully compatible with and designed
856      convergently with the large and high-quality suite of system
857      components created by Stallman's Project GNU and distributed by the
858      Free Software Foundation. Because Torvalds chose to release the Linux
859      kernel under the Free Software Foundation's General Public License, of
860      which more below, the hundreds and eventually thousands of programmers
861      around the world who chose to contribute their effort towards the
862      further development of the kernel could be sure that their efforts
863      would result in permanently free software that no one could turn into
864      a proprietary product. Everyone knew that everyone else would be able
865      to test, improve, and redistribute their improvements. Torvalds
866      accepted contributions freely, and with a genially effective style
867      maintained overall direction without dampening enthusiasm. The
868      development of the Linux kernel proved that the Internet made it
869      possible to aggregate collections of programmers far larger than any
870      commercial manufacturer could afford, joined almost non-hierarchically
871      in a development project ultimately involving more than one million
872      lines of computer code - a scale of collaboration among geographically
873      dispersed unpaid volunteers previously unimaginable in human history
874      <footnote> <para>20. A careful and creative analysis of how Torvalds
875      made this process work, and what it implies for the social practices
876      of creating software, was provided by Eric S. Raymond in his seminal
877      1997 paper, <ulink
878      url="http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue3_3/raymond/index.html">The
879      Cathedral and the Bazaar,</ulink> which itself played a significant
880      role in the expansion of the free software idea.</para>
881      </footnote>.</para>
882
883      <para>By 1994, Linux had reached version 1.0, representing a usable
884      production kernel. Level 2.0 was reached in 1996, and by 1998, with
885      the kernel at 2.2.0 and available not only for x86 machines but for a
886      variety of other machine architectures, GNU/Linux - the combination of
887      the Linux kernel and the much larger body of Project GNU components -
888      and Windows NT were the only two operating systems in the world
889      gaining market share. A Microsoft internal assessment of the situation
890      leaked in October 1998 and subsequently acknowledged by the company as
891      genuine concluded that "Linux represents a best-of-breed UNIX, that is
892      trusted in mission critical applications, and - due to it's [sic] open
893      source code - has a long term credibility which exceeds many other
894      competitive OS's." <footnote> <para>21. This is a quotation from what
895      is known in the trade as the "Halloween memo," which can be found, as
896      annotated by Eric Raymond, to whom it was leaked, at <ulink
897      url="http://www.opensource.org/halloween/halloween1.html">
898      http://www.opensource.org/halloween/halloween1.html</ulink>.</para></footnote>
899      GNU/Linux systems are now used throughout the world, operating
900      everything from Web servers at major electronic commerce sites to
901      "ad-hoc supercomputer" clusters to the network infrastructure of
902      money-center banks. GNU/Linux is found on the space shuttle, and
903      running behind-the-scenes computers at (yes) Microsoft. Industry
904      evaluations of the comparative reliability of Unix systems have
905      repeatedly shown that Linux is far and away the most stable and
906      reliable Unix kernel, with a reliability exceeded only by the GNU
907      tools themselves. GNU/Linux not only out-performs commercial
908      proprietary Unix versions for PCs in benchmarks, but is renowned for
909      its ability to run, undisturbed and uncomplaining, for months on end
910      in high-volume high-stress environments without crashing.</para>
911
912      <para>Other components of the free software movement have been equally
913      successful. Apache, far and away the world's leading Web server
914      program, is free software, as is Perl, the programming language which
915      is the lingua franca for the programmers who build sophisticated Web
916      sites. Netscape Communications now distributes its Netscape
917      Communicator 5.0 browser as free software, under a close variant of
918      the Free Software Foundation's General Public License. Major PC
919      manufacturers, including IBM, have announced plans or are already
920      distributing GNU/Linux as a customer option on their top-of-the-line
921      PCs intended for use as Web- and file servers. Samba, a program that
922      allows GNU/Linux computers to act as Windows NT file servers, is used
923      worldwide as an alternative to Windows NT Server, and provides
924      effective low-end competition to Microsoft in its own home market. By
925      the standards of software quality that have been recognized in the
926      industry for decades - and whose continuing relevance will be clear to
927      you the next time your Windows PC crashes - the news at century's end
928      is unambiguous. The world's most profitable and powerful corporation
929      comes in a distant second, having excluded all but the real victor
930      from the race. Propertarianism joined to capitalist vigor destroyed
931      meaningful commercial competition, but when it came to making good
932      software, anarchism won.</para>
933
934
935    </section>
936  </section>
937  <!--<para><img src="anarchism_files/quad.gif"></para><a name="m3"></a>-->
938  <section>
939    <title>III. Anarchism as a Mode of Production</title>
940   
941    <para>It's a pretty story, and if only the IPdroid and the econodwarf
942    hadn't been blinded by theory, they'd have seen it coming. But though
943    some of us had been working for it and predicting it for years, the
944    theoretical consequences are so subversive for the thoughtways that
945    maintain our dwarves and droids in comfort that they can hardly be
946    blamed for refusing to see. The facts proved that something was wrong
947    with the "incentives" metaphor that underprops conventional
948    intellectual property reasoning <footnote> <para>22. As recently as
949    early 1994 a talented and technically competent (though Windows-using)
950    law and economics scholar at a major U.S. law school confidently
951    informed me that free software couldn't possibly exist, because no one
952    would have any incentive to make really sophisticated programs
953    requiring substantial investment of effort only to give them
954    away.</para> </footnote> . But they did more. They provided an initial
955    glimpse into the future of human creativity in a world of global
956    interconnection, and it's not a world made for dwarves and
957    droids.</para>
958
959    <para>My argument, before we paused for refreshment in the real world,
960    can be summarized this way: Software - whether executable programs,
961    music, visual art, liturgy, weaponry, or what have you - consists of
962    bitstreams, which although essentially indistinguishable are treated
963    by a confusing multiplicity of legal categories. This multiplicity is
964    unstable in the long term for reasons integral to the legal process.
965    The unstable diversity of rules is caused by the need to distinguish
966    among kinds of property interests in bitstreams. This need is
967    primarily felt by those who stand to profit from the socially
968    acceptable forms of monopoly created by treating ideas as
969    property. Those of us who are worried about the social inequity and
970    cultural hegemony created by this intellectually unsatisfying and
971    morally repugnant regime are shouted down. Those doing the shouting,
972    the dwarves and the droids, believe that these property rules are
973    necessary not from any overt yearning for life in Murdochworld -
974    though a little luxurious co-optation is always welcome - but because
975    the metaphor of incentives, which they take to be not just an image
976    but an argument, proves that these rules - despite their lamentable
977    consequences - are necessary if we are to make good software. The only
978    way to continue to believe this is to ignore the facts. At the center
979    of the digital revolution, with the executable bitstreams that make
980    everything else possible, propertarian regimes not only do not make
981    things better, they can make things radically worse. Property
982    concepts, whatever else may be wrong with them, do not enable and have
983    in fact retarded progress.</para>
984
985    <para>
986      But what is this mysterious alternative? Free software exists, but
987      what are its mechanisms, and how does it generalize towards a
988    non-propertarian theory of the digital society?</para>
989
990  </section>
991  <section>
992
993    <title>The Legal Theory of Free Software</title>
994
995    <para>There is a myth, like most myths partially founded on reality,
996    that computer programmers are all libertarians. Right-wing ones are
997    capitalists, cleave to their stock options, and disdain taxes, unions,
998    and civil rights laws; left-wing ones hate the market and all
999    government, believe in strong encryption no matter how much nuclear
1000    terrorism it may cause, <footnote> <para>23. This question too
1001    deserves special scrutiny, encrusted as it is with special pleading on
1002    the state-power side. See my brief essay <ulink
1003    url="http://emoglen.law.columbia.edu/my_pubs/yu-encrypt.html">"<emphasis>So
1004    Much for Savages</emphasis>: Navajo 1, Government 0 in Final Moments of
1005    Play."</ulink></para> </footnote> and dislike Bill Gates because he's
1006    rich. There is doubtless a foundation for this belief. But the most
1007    significant difference between political thought inside the digirati
1008    and outside it is that in the network society, anarchism (or more
1009    properly, anti-possessive individualism) is a viable political
1010    philosophy.</para>
1011
1012    <para>The center of the free software movement's success, and the
1013    greatest achievement of Richard Stallman, is not a piece of computer
1014    code. The success of free software, including the overwhelming success
1015    of GNU/Linux, results from the ability to harness extraordinary
1016    quantities of high-quality effort for projects of immense size and
1017    profound complexity. And this ability in turn results from the legal
1018    context in which the labor is mobilized. As a visionary designer
1019    Richard Stallman created more than Emacs, GDB, or GNU. He created the
1020    General Public License.</para>
1021
1022    <!-- <center><img src="anarchism_files/mog3.gif" hspace="0"
1023         vspace="0"></center> --> <para>The GPL, <footnote>
1024    <para>24. <emphasis>See</emphasis> <ulink
1025    url="http://www.fsf.org/copyleft/gpl.txt">GNU General Public License,
1026    Version 2, June 1991.</ulink></para> </footnote> also known as the
1027    copyleft, uses copyright, to paraphrase Toby Milsom, to counterfeit
1028    the phenomena of anarchism. As the license preamble expresses
1029    it:</para>
1030
1031    <blockquote><para>When we speak of free software, we are referring to
1032    freedom, not price. Our General Public Licenses are designed to make
1033    sure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software
1034    (and charge for this service if you wish), that you receive source
1035    code or can get it if you want it, that you can change the software or
1036    use pieces of it in new free programs; and that you know you can do
1037    these things.</para>
1038
1039    <para>To protect your rights, we need to make restrictions that
1040    forbid anyone to deny you these rights or to ask you to surrender the
1041    rights.  These restrictions translate to certain responsibilities for
1042    you if you distribute copies of the software, or if you modify
1043    it.</para>
1044
1045    <para>For example, if you distribute copies of such a program,
1046    whether gratis or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the
1047    rights that you have. You must make sure that they, too, receive or
1048    can get the source code. And you must show them these terms so they
1049    know their rights.</para>
1050
1051    <para>Many variants of this basic free software idea have been
1052    expressed in licenses of various kinds, as I have already
1053    indicated. The GPL is different from the other ways of expressing
1054    these values in one crucial respect. Section 2 of the license provides
1055    in pertinent part:</para>
1056
1057    <para>You may modify your copy or copies of the Program or any
1058    portion of it, thus forming a work based on the Program, and copy and
1059    distribute such modifications or work ..., provided that you also meet
1060    all of these conditions: </para>
1061
1062    <para>...</para>
1063
1064    <para>b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish,
1065    that in whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or
1066    any part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third
1067    parties under the terms of this License.</para></blockquote>
1068
1069    <para>Section 2(b) of the GPL is sometimes called "restrictive," but
1070    its intention is liberating. It creates a commons, to which anyone may
1071    add but from which no one may subtract. Because of §2(b), each
1072    contributor to a GPL'd project is assured that she, and all other
1073    users, will be able to run, modify and redistribute the program
1074    indefinitely, that source code will always be available, and that,
1075    unlike commercial software, its longevity cannot be limited by the
1076    contingencies of the marketplace or the decisions of future
1077    developers. This "inheritance" of the GPL has sometimes been
1078    criticized as an example of the free software movement's
1079    anti-commercial bias.  Nothing could be further from the truth. The
1080    effect of §2(b) is to make commercial distributors of free software
1081    better competitors against proprietary software businesses. For
1082    confirmation of this point, one can do no better than to ask the
1083    proprietary competitors. As the author of the Microsoft "Halloween"
1084    memorandum, Vinod Vallopillil, put it:</para>
1085
1086    <blockquote><para>The GPL and its aversion to code forking reassures
1087    customers that they aren't riding an evolutionary `dead-end' by
1088    subscribing to a particular commercial version of Linux.</para>
1089
1090    <para>The "evolutionary dead-end" is the core of the software
1091    FUD argument <footnote> <para>25. <ulink
1092    url="http://www.opensource.org/halloween/halloween1.html">V. Vallopillil,
1093    Open Source Software: A (New?) Development Methodology.</ulink></para>
1094    </footnote> .</para></blockquote>
1095
1096    <para>Translated out of Microspeak, this means that the strategy by
1097    which the dominant proprietary manufacturer drives customers away from
1098    competitors - by sowing fear, uncertainty and doubt about other
1099    software's long-term viability - is ineffective with respect to GPL'd
1100    programs. Users of GPL'd code, including those who purchase software
1101    and systems from a commercial reseller, know that future improvements
1102    and repairs will be accessible from the commons, and need not fear
1103    either the disappearance of their supplier or that someone will use a
1104    particularly attractive improvement or a desperately necessary repair
1105    as leverage for "taking the program private."</para>
1106
1107    <para>This use of intellectual property rules to create a commons in
1108    cyberspace is the central institutional structure enabling the
1109    anarchist triumph. Ensuring free access and enabling modification at
1110    each stage in the process means that the evolution of software occurs
1111    in the fast Lamarckian mode: each favorable acquired characteristic of
1112    others' work can be directly inherited. Hence the speed with which the
1113    Linux kernel, for example, outgrew all of its proprietary
1114    predecessors. Because defection is impossible, free riders are
1115    welcome, which resolves one of the central puzzles of collective
1116    action in a propertarian social system.</para>
1117
1118    <para>Non-propertarian production is also directly responsible for the
1119    famous stability and reliability of free software, which arises from
1120    what Eric Raymond calls "Linus' law": With enough eyeballs, all bugs
1121    are shallow. In practical terms, access to source code means that if I
1122    have a problem I can fix it. Because I can fix it, I almost never have
1123    to, because someone else has almost always seen it and fixed it
1124    first.</para>
1125
1126    <para>For the free software community, commitment to anarchist
1127    production may be a moral imperative; as Richard Stallman wrote, it's
1128    about freedom, not about price. Or it may be a matter of utility,
1129    seeking to produce better software than propertarian modes of work
1130    will allow.  From the droid point of view, the copyleft represents the
1131    perversion of theory, but better than any other proposal over the past
1132    decades it resolves the problems of applying copyright to the
1133    inextricably merged functional and expressive features of computer
1134    programs. That it produces better software than the alternative does
1135    not imply that traditional copyright principles should now be
1136    prohibited to those who want to own and market inferior software
1137    products, or (more charitably) whose products are too narrow in appeal
1138    for communal production. But our story should serve as a warning to
1139    droids: The world of the future will bear little relation to the world
1140    of the past. The rules are now being bent in two directions. The
1141    corporate owners of "cultural icons" and other assets who seek
1142    ever-longer terms for corporate authors, converting the "limited Time"
1143    of Article I, §8 into a freehold have naturally been whistling music
1144    to the android ear <footnote> <para>26. The looming expiration of
1145    Mickey Mouse's ownership by Disney requires, from the point of view of
1146    that wealthy "campaign contributor," for example, an alteration of the
1147    general copyright law of the United States. See "Not Making it Any
1148    More?  Vaporizing the Public Domain," in <emphasis>The Invisible
1149    Barbecue</emphasis>, forthcoming.</para> </footnote> .  After all, who bought
1150    the droids their concert tickets? But as the propertarian position
1151    seeks to embed itself ever more strongly, in a conception of copyright
1152    liberated from the minor annoyances of limited terms and fair use, at
1153    the very center of our "cultural software" system, the anarchist
1154    counter-strike has begun. Worse is yet to befall the droids, as we
1155    shall see. But first, we must pay our final devoirs to the
1156    dwarves.</para>
1157
1158  </section>
1159  <section>
1160    <title>Because It's There: Faraday's Magnet and Human Creativity</title>
1161
1162    <para>After all, they deserve an answer. Why do people make free
1163    software if they don't get to profit? Two answers have usually been
1164    given. One is half-right and the other is wrong, but both are
1165    insufficiently simple.</para>
1166
1167    <para>The wrong answer is embedded in numerous references to "the
1168    hacker gift-exchange culture." This use of ethnographic jargon
1169    wandered into the field some years ago and became rapidly, if
1170    misleadingly, ubiquitous. It reminds us only that the
1171    economeretricians have so corrupted our thought processes that any
1172    form of non-market economic behavior seems equal to every other
1173    kind. But gift-exchange, like market barter, is a propertarian
1174    institution. Reciprocity is central to these symbolic enactments of
1175    mutual dependence, and if either the yams or the fish are
1176    short-weighted, trouble results. Free software, at the risk of
1177    repetition, is a commons: no reciprocity ritual is enacted there. A
1178    few people give away code that others sell, use, change, or borrow
1179    wholesale to lift out parts for something else. Notwithstanding the
1180    very large number of people (tens of thousands, at most) who have
1181    contributed to GNU/Linux, this is orders of magnitude less than the
1182    number of users who make no contribution whatever <footnote>
1183    <para>27. A recent industry estimate puts the number of Linux systems
1184    worldwide at 7.5 million. <emphasis>See</emphasis> Josh McHugh, 1998. <ulink
1185    url="http://www.forbes.com/forbes/98/0810/6203094s1.htm">"Linux: The
1186    Making of a Global Hack,"</ulink> <emphasis>Forbes</emphasis> (August 10). Because the
1187    software is freely obtainable throughout the Net, there is no simple
1188    way to assess actual usage.</para> </footnote>.</para>
1189
1190    <para>A part of the right answer is suggested by the claim that free
1191    software is made by those who seek reputational compensation for their
1192    activity. Famous Linux hackers, the theory is, are known all over the
1193    planet as programming deities. From this they derive either enhanced
1194    self-esteem or indirect material advancement <footnote> <para>28. Eric
1195    Raymond is a partisan of the "ego boost" theory, to which he adds
1196    another faux-ethnographic comparison, of free software composition to
1197    the Kwakiutl potlatch. <emphasis>See</emphasis> Eric S. Raymond, 1998. <ulink
1198    url="http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue3_10/raymond/index.html">Homesteading
1199    the Noosphere.</ulink>.  But the potlatch, certainly a form of status
1200    competition, is unlike free software for two fundamental reasons: it
1201    is essentially hierarchical, which free software is not, and, as we
1202    have known since Thorstein Veblen first called attention to its
1203    significance, it is a form of conspicuous waste. <emphasis>See</emphasis> Thorstein
1204    Veblen, 1967. <emphasis>The Theory of the Leisure Class.</emphasis> New York:
1205    Viking, p. 75. These are precisely the grounds which distinguish the
1206    anti-hierarchical and utilitiarian free software culture from its
1207    propertarian counterparts.</para></footnote>.  But the programming
1208    deities, much as they have contributed to free software, have not done
1209    the bulk of the work. Reputations, as Linus Torvalds himself has often
1210    pointed out, are made by willingly acknowledging that it was all done
1211    by someone else. And, as many observers have noted, the free software
1212    movement has also produced superlative
1213    documentation. Documentation-writing is not what hackers do to attain
1214    cool, and much of the documentation has been written by people who
1215    didn't write the code. Nor must we limit the indirect material
1216    advantages of authorship to increases in reputational capital.  Most
1217    free software authors I know have day jobs in the technology
1218    industries, and the skills they hone in the more creative work they do
1219    outside the market no doubt sometimes measurably enhance their value
1220    within it. And as the free software products gained critical mass and
1221    became the basis of a whole new set of business models built around
1222    commercial distribution of that which people can also get for nothing,
1223    an increasing number of people are specifically employed to write free
1224    software. But in order to be employable in the field, they must
1225    already have established themselves there. Plainly, then, this motive
1226    is present, but it isn't the whole explanation.</para>
1227
1228    <para>Indeed, the rest of the answer is just too simple to have
1229    received its due. The best way to understand is to follow the brief
1230    and otherwise unsung career of an initially-grudging free software
1231    author.  Microsoft's Vinod Vallopillil, in the course of writing the
1232    competitive analysis of Linux that was leaked as the second of the
1233    famous "Halloween memoranda," bought and installed a Linux system on
1234    one of his office computers. He had trouble because the (commercial)
1235    Linux distribution he installed did not contain a daemon to handle the
1236    DHCP protocol for assignment of dynamic IP addresses. The result was
1237    important enough for us to risk another prolonged exposure to the
1238    Microsoft Writing Style:</para>
1239
1240    <blockquote><para>A small number of Web sites and FAQs later, I found an FTP
1241    site with a Linux DHCP client. The DHCP client was developed by an
1242    engineer employed by Fore Systems (as evidenced by his e-mail address;
1243    I believe, however, that it was developed in his own free time). A
1244    second set of documentation/manuals was written for the DHCP client by
1245    a hacker in <emphasis>Hungary</emphasis> which provided relatively simple
1246    instructions on how to install/load the client.</para>
1247
1248    <para>I downloaded &amp; uncompressed the client and typed two
1249    simple commands:</para>
1250
1251    <para>Make - compiles the client binaries</para>
1252
1253    <para>Make Install -installed the binaries as a Linux Daemon</para>
1254
1255    <para>Typing "DHCPCD" (for DHCP Client Daemon) on the command
1256    line triggered the DHCP discovery process and voila, I had IP
1257    networking running.  </para>
1258
1259    <para>Since I had just downloaded the DHCP client code, on an
1260    impulse I played around a bit. Although the client wasn't as
1261    extensible as the DHCP client we are shipping in NT5 (for example, it
1262    won't query for arbitrary options &amp; store results), it was obvious
1263    how I could write the additional code to implement this functionality.
1264    The full client consisted of about 2,600 lines of code.</para>
1265
1266    <para>One example of esoteric, extended functionality that was
1267    clearly patched in by a third party was a set of routines to that
1268    would pad the DHCP request with host-specific strings required by
1269    Cable Modem / ADSL sites.</para>
1270
1271    <para>A few other steps were required to configure the DHCP
1272    client to auto-start and auto-configure my Ethernet interface on boot
1273    but these were documented in the client code and in the DHCP
1274    documentation from the Hungarian developer.</para>
1275
1276    <para>I'm a poorly skilled UNIX programmer but it was
1277    immediately obvious to me how to incrementally extend the DHCP client
1278    code (the feeling was exhilarating and addictive).</para>
1279
1280    <para>Additionally, due directly to GPL + having the full development
1281    environment in front of me, I was in a position where I could write up
1282    my changes and e-mail them out within a couple of hours (in contrast
1283    to how things like this would get done in NT). Engaging in that
1284    process would have prepared me for a larger, more ambitious Linux
1285    project in the future <footnote><para>29. Vinod Vallopillil, <ulink
1286    url="http://www.opensource.org/halloween/halloween2.html">Linux OS
1287    Competitive Analysis (Halloween II).</ulink> Note Vallopillil's
1288    surprise that a program written in California had been subsequently
1289    documented by a programmer in Hungary.</para>
1290    </footnote>.</para></blockquote>
1291
1292    <para>"The feeling was exhilarating and addictive." Stop the presses:
1293    Microsoft experimentally verifies Moglen's Metaphorical Corollary to
1294    Faraday's Law. Wrap the Internet around every brain on the planet and
1295    spin the planet. Software flows in the wires. It's an emergent
1296    property of human minds to create. "Due directly to the GPL," as
1297    Vallopillil rightly pointed out, free software made available to him
1298    an exhilarating increase in his own creativity, of a kind not
1299    achievable in his day job working for the Greatest Programming Company
1300    on Earth. If only he had e-mailed that first addictive fix, who knows
1301    where he'd be now?</para>
1302
1303    <para>So, in the end, my dwarvish friends, it's just a human thing.
1304    Rather like why Figaro sings, why Mozart wrote the music for him to
1305    sing to, and why we all make up new words: Because we can. Homo
1306    ludens, meet Homo faber. The social condition of global
1307    interconnection that we call the Internet makes it possible for all of
1308    us to be creative in new and previously undreamed-of ways. Unless we
1309    allow "ownership" to interfere. Repeat after me, ye dwarves and men:
1310    Resist the resistance!</para>
1311
1312  </section>
1313  <!--<para><img src="anarchism_files/quad.gif"></para><a name="m4"></a>-->
1314
1315  <section>
1316    <title>IV. Their Lordships Die in the Dark?</title>
1317
1318    <para>For the IPdroid, fresh off the plane from a week at Bellagio
1319    paid for by Dreamworks SKG, it's enough to cause indigestion.</para>
1320
1321    <para>Unlock the possibilities of human creativity by connecting
1322    everyone to everyone else? Get the ownership system out of the way so
1323    that we can all add our voices to the choir, even if that means
1324    pasting our singing on top of the Mormon Tabernacle and sending the
1325    output to a friend? No one sitting slack-jawed in front of a televised
1326    mixture of violence and imminent copulation carefully devised to
1327    heighten the young male eyeball's interest in a beer commercial? What
1328    will become of civilization? Or at least of copyright teachers?</para>
1329
1330    <para>But perhaps this is premature. I've only been talking about
1331    software. Real software, the old kind, that runs computers. Not like
1332    the software that runs DVD players, or the kind made by the Grateful
1333    Dead. "Oh yes, the Grateful Dead. Something strange about them, wasn't
1334    there? Didn't prohibit recording at their concerts. Didn't mind if
1335    their fans rather riled the recording industry. Seem to have done all
1336    right, though, you gotta admit. Senator Patrick Leahy, isn't he a
1337    former Deadhead? I wonder if he'll vote to extend corporate authorship
1338    terms to 125 years, so that Disney doesn't lose The Mouse in 2004. And
1339    those DVD players - they're computers, aren't they?"</para>
1340
1341    <para>In the digital society, it's all connected. We can't depend for
1342    the long run on distinguishing one bitstream from another in order to
1343    figure out which rules apply. What happened to software is already
1344    happening to music. Their recording industry lordships are now
1345    scrambling wildly to retain control over distribution, as both
1346    musicians and listeners realize that the middlepeople are no longer
1347    necessary. The Great Potemkin Village of 1999, the so-called Secure
1348    Digital Music Initiative, will have collapsed long before the first
1349    Internet President gets inaugurated, for simple technical reasons as
1350    obvious to those who know as the ones that dictated the triumph of
1351    free software <footnote> <para>30. See "They're Playing Our Song: The
1352    Day the Music Industry Died," in <emphasis>The Invisible Barbecue</emphasis>,
1353    forthcoming.</para> </footnote> . The anarchist revolution in music is
1354    different from the one in software <emphasis>tout court</emphasis>, but here too -
1355    as any teenager with an MP3 collection of self-released music from
1356    unsigned artists can tell you - theory has been killed off by the
1357    facts. Whether you are Mick Jagger, or a great national artist from
1358    the third world looking for a global audience, or a garret-dweller
1359    reinventing music, the recording industry will soon have nothing to
1360    offer you that you can't get better for free.  And music doesn't sound
1361    worse when distributed for free, pay what you want directly to the
1362    artist, and don't pay anything if you don't want to. Give it to your
1363    friends; they might like it.</para>
1364
1365    <para>
1366      What happened to music is also happening to news. The wire services,
1367      as any U.S. law student learns even before taking the near-obligatory
1368      course in Copyright for Droids, have a protectible property interest
1369      in their expression of the news, even if not in the facts the news
1370      reports <footnote><para>31. International News Service v. Associated
1371      Press, 248 U.S. 215 (1918). With regard to the actual terse, purely
1372      functional expressions of breaking news actually at stake in the
1373      jostling among wire services, this was always a distinction only a
1374      droid could love.</para></footnote>.  So why are they now giving all
1375      their output away? Because in the world of the Net, most news is
1376      commodity news. And the original advantage of the news gatherers, that
1377      they were internally connected in ways others were not when
1378      communications were expensive, is gone. Now what matters is collecting
1379      eyeballs to deliver to advertisers. It isn't the wire services that
1380      have the advantage in covering Kosovo, that's for sure. Much less
1381      those paragons of "intellectual" property, their television
1382      lordships. They, with their overpaid pretty people and their massive
1383      technical infrastructure, are about the only organizations in the
1384      world that can't afford to be everywhere all the time. And then they
1385      have to limit themselves to ninety seconds a story, or the eyeball
1386      hunters will go somewhere else. So who makes better news, the
1387    propertarians or the anarchists?  We shall soon see.</para>
1388
1389    <para>Oscar Wilde says somewhere that the problem with socialism is
1390    that it takes up too many evenings. The problems with anarchism as a
1391    social system are also about transaction costs. But the digital
1392    revolution alters two aspects of political economy that have been
1393    otherwise invariant throughout human history. All software has zero
1394    marginal cost in the world of the Net, while the costs of social
1395    coordination have been so far reduced as to permit the rapid formation
1396    and dissolution of large-scale and highly diverse social groupings
1397    entirely without geographic limitation <footnote> <para>32. See "No
1398    Prodigal Son: The Political Theory of Universal Interconnection," in
1399    <emphasis>The Invisible Barbecue</emphasis>, forthcoming.</para> </footnote> . Such
1400    fundamental change in the material circumstances of life necessarily
1401    produces equally fundamental changes in culture. Think not? Tell it to
1402    the Iroquois. And of course such profound shifts in culture are
1403    threats to existing power relations. Think not? Ask the Chinese
1404    Communist Party.  Or wait 25 years and see if you can find them for
1405    purposes of making the inquiry.</para>
1406
1407    <para>In this context, the obsolescence of the IPdroid is neither
1408    unforseeable nor tragic. Indeed it may find itself clanking off into
1409    the desert, still lucidly explaining to an imaginary room the
1410    profitably complicated rules for a world that no longer exists. But at
1411    least it will have familiar company, recognizable from all those
1412    glittering parties in Davos, Hollywood, and Brussels. Our Media Lords
1413    are now at handigrips with fate, however much they may feel that the
1414    Force is with them. The rules about bitstreams are now of dubious
1415    utility for maintaining power by co-opting human creativity. Seen
1416    clearly in the light of fact, these Emperors have even fewer clothes
1417    than the models they use to grab our eyeballs. Unless supported by
1418    user-disabling technology, a culture of pervasive surveillance that
1419    permits every reader of every "property" to be logged and charged, and
1420    a smokescreen of droid-breath assuring each and every young person
1421    that human creativity would vanish without the benevolent aristocracy
1422    of BillG the Creator, Lord Murdoch of Everywhere, the Spielmeister and
1423    the Lord High Mouse, their reign is nearly done. But what's at stake
1424    is the control of the scarcest resource of all: our
1425    attention. Conscripting that makes all the money in the world in the
1426    digital economy, and the current lords of the earth will fight for
1427    it. Leagued against them are only the anarchists: nobodies, hippies,
1428    hobbyists, lovers, and artists. The resulting unequal contest is the
1429    great political and legal issue of our time.  Aristocracy looks hard
1430    to beat, but that's how it looked in 1788 and 1913 too. It is, as Chou
1431    En-Lai said about the meaning of the French Revolution, too soon to
1432    tell.</para>
1433
1434  </section>
1435  <section>
1436    <title>About the Author</title>
1437
1438    <para>Eben Moglen is Professor of Law &amp; Legal History, Columbia Law School.
1439    E-mail: <ulink url="mailto:moglen@columbia.edu">Mail: moglen@columbia.edu</ulink></para>
1440
1441    <para>Acknowledgments</para>
1442
1443    <para>This paper was prepared for delivery at the Buchmann
1444    International Conference on Law, Technology and Information, at Tel
1445    Aviv University, May 1999; my thanks to the organizers for their kind
1446    invitation. I owe much as always to Pamela Karlan for her insight and
1447    encouragement. I especially wish to thank the programmers throughout
1448    the world who made free software possible.</para>
1449
1450
1451    <blockquote>
1452      <para>
1453      <ulink url="http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue4_8/index.html"><!--<img src="anarchism_files/contents.gif" alt="Contents" align="bottom" border="0">--></ulink> </para>
1454      <para>
1455        <ulink url="http://firstmonday.org/issues/index.html"><!--<img src="anarchism_files/index.gif" alt="Index" border="0">--></ulink> 
1456      </para>
1457    <para>Copyright <ulink url="http://firstmonday.org/copy.html">©</ulink> 1999, First Monday</para></blockquote>
1458
1459
1460  </section>
1461</article>
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