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+2 votes

I've read & heard some people, like anarchists, commies, try to suggest that open source software & free software are examples of anarchism and/or communism/socialism in action and what not. I personally don't feel that way about it. The most permissive open source license, for example, is the Do Whatever The Fuck You Want With This license, as far as I'm aware. Once you obtain the software, you can do what you want with it. It's kind of similar to a car. With a car you can take it apart completely for whatever reason, modify it, inform others on what you did and how, give it away or sell it. It fairly similar to the concept of open source. I wouldn't say cars are examples of anarchism/communism in action.  But enough with my opinion on open source licenses, I'm interested in how y'all feel about open source software in relation to anarchism.

*There are a bunch of open source software licenses that can be more restrictive than others.  There's even an anti-capitalist software license. No one asked on here about this.

by (4.7k points)
the ACSL seems like a commie pipe-dream, with a dash of anarcho-capitalism on the side. the WTFPL raises the obvious question: then why have a license?

licensing, including for intellectual property, is part and parcel of the institutions of state/law and capital.

i'm not sure how any kind of licensing would have anything to do with anarchy. are less restrictive licenses more "anarchistic" than more restrictive ones? maybe. are food coops or non-profits more "anarchistic" than traditional "ownership"? maybe. but i have never seen them as either break from or a threat to the democrapitalistic status quo.
I think a few of the licenses are due to living in a capitalist society where intellectual property and copyright is a thing. Books I got from LBC mention the creative commons license. I think it's to literally let a person know they can do whatever with the book because many people have probably been conditioned to believe they can't do whatever with it due to copyright. Many books flat out state all these things a person cannot do. So, like, a few books published by AK and PM Press that I have have blurbs stating one cannot reproduce, photocopy, trade, resell...etc without AK/PM Press' permission.

I do agree these licenses are basically just tools for the law and thus incompatible with anarchism.

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