About Freedom and Power

by Ploum on 2024-04-08

Freedom is the right to do whatever you want. Power is the right to force others to do what you want. Power is, by definition, being able to restrict others’ freedoms.

Copyleft is a tool that gives you freedom but no power.

Permissive licenses give freedom and power, allowing already powerful people to restrict the freedoms of others.

That’s why powerful people (and those dreaming of being powerful) don’t like copyleft. When you are accustomed to the privilege of power, freedom of others sounds like oppression.

Don’t listen to the powerful people. They will tell you that you need to protect powers just in case you become powerful yourself. They will tell you that you need to be against taxation just in case you become rich yourself. That you are a "temporary embarrassed millionaire". Similarly, they’ve told you to use MIT/BSD license because you could later become a "billionaire proprietary software tycoon" with your lines of code.

That’s, of course, a lie. They already are the barons. They want to use your own lines of code to restrict your own freedoms. We should not admire powerful people but fight them.

You may dream of power but all you need is freedom.

We need to protect freedom, not power. We need to respect humans, not bosses nor commercial interests.

Offer a little freedom: use copyleft licenses!

As a writer and an engineer, I like to explore how technology impacts society. You can subscribe by email or by rss. I value privacy and never share your adress.

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