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Richard Stallman visited us in Munich in mid-July. He gave a public talk in English on "Copyright vs. Community" at the Technische Universität München. You can find the video below.
Copyright developed in the age of the printing press, and was designed to fit with the system of centralized copying imposed by the printing press. But the copyright system does not fit well with computer networks, and only draconian punishments can enforce it. The global corporations that profit from copyright are lobbying for draconian punishments, and to increase their copyright powers, while suppressing public access to technology.
This applies to scientific publishing too: scholarly articles must permit redistribution and remix for the good of science. We must strip the journal publishers of the power to prevent this.
If we seriously hope for copyright to serve its only legitimate purpose --to promote progress, for the benefit of the public-- then we must make changes in the other direction.
Richard Stallman launched the free software movement in 1983 and started the development of the GNU operating system in 1984. GNU is free software: everyone has the freedom to copy it and redistribute it, with or without changes. The GNU/Linux system, basically the GNU operating system with Linux added, is used on tens of millions of computers today. Stallman has received the ACM Grace Hopper Award, a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer Award, and the the Takeda Award for Social/Economic Betterment, as well as several honorary doctorates.