A comparative ethical assessment of free software licensing schemes

Software is much more than sequences of instructions for a computing machine: it can be an enabler (or disabler) of political imperatives and policies. Hence, it is subject to the same assessment in a normative dimension as other political and social phenomena. The core distinction between free software and its proprietary counterpart is that free software makes available to its user the knowledge and innovation contributed by the creator(s) of the software, in the form of the created source code. From an ethical perspective, one of the most pressing questions raised by this form of collaboration is the question of the rights, and the restrictions on them, that are passed on to users and collaborators by the creators of programs. That is, what freedoms do software users deserve, and how can they best be protected? In this study we analyze free software licensing schemes in order to determine which most effectively protects such freedoms. We conclude that so-called copyleft licensing schemes are the morally superior alternative.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,349
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index

Total downloads
11 ( #412,399 of 2,193,594 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #290,647 of 2,193,594 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature