Copyright vs Community in the Age of Computer Networks

This is a joint event with South Yorkshire BCS and IET.

Thursday 5 March 2011, 5.30pm - 7.30pm

Richard M Stallman, Free Software Foundation


Copyright developed in the age of the printing press and was designed to fit with the system of centralized copying imposed by this technology. 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. But if we seriously hope to serve the only legitimate purpose of copyright, to promote progress for the benefit of the public, then we must make changes in the other direction.


Richard Stallman launched the development of the GNU operating system (see in 1984. GNU is free software - everyone has the freedom to copy it and redistribute it, as well as to make changes, either large or small. The GNU/Linux system, basically the GNU operating system with Linux added, is used on tens of millions of computers today.


Pictures of the visit are available in the News section.