An Ethical Obligation to Copy – The Origins and Implications of Free Software

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Peer production has become an important way to manufacture digital products and information, for example software and encyclopedias. The products are generally made without payment to contributors, and may most often be used free of charge. They can also be modified, copied and shared by the users. This paper examines one of the first examples of a product built on this business model, the operating system GNU/Linux, and suggests that the prominence of digital tools and information, which may be copied and modified without detriment to the original, prompts us to rethink traditional conceptions of ownership, work and technology, based on ethical rather than economic considerations.
Full Article (PDF):application/pdf iconKarl-Giverholt-Ethical-Obligation-to-Copy.pdf