Archive:Computer Science Majors
As computer scientists, code is the language with which we communicate. It is our passion, our livelihood, and our means of expression. That's why it is vitally important to make sure that code is always understood for what it is: a form of speech.
In recent years, dangerous legislation has passed that has already threatened and crushed free speech in code. Consider the following cases:
- Dimitri Sklyarov, a Russian programmer, wrote software that made legally purchased eBooks more useful by allowing them to be translated into other languages and converted into other formats. Upon arriving in the US to speak at a conference, he was arrested under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for writing code that circumvented digital copyright protection.
- Jon Johansen, a 16-year-old from Norway, wrote code that enabled legally purchased DVDs to be played on computers running GNU/Linux. His computers were confiscated and both he and his father were criminally prosecuted.
- Right now, legislation is being considered in the Senate that would make those who are found to 'induce' copyright infringement liable. This could apply to any programmer who creates software that could be used for copyright infringement, even if the programmer has not infringed copyright himself.
If you want to assure that you have the same free speech rights in code as you have in other forms of speech, if you're dedicated to defending your free speech rights no matter the medium, and if you're committed cultivating innovation in the 21st century, join the Free Culture movement.
www.freeculture.org - the international student movement for Free Culture
www.eff.org - the Electronic Frontier Foundation, protecting your digital rights
Freeculture.org is an international student movement dedicated to defending a free and open cultural space and protecting public intellectual capital from privatization and exploitation. Freeculture.org promotes a bottom-up, participatory structure to society and culture, in which cultural elements are accessible to all citizens for interpretation and innovation. Freeculture.org sees opportunity in technology, opportunity to cultivate this intellectual commons, opportunity to build a culture to support and cultivate the new freedoms that we have found in the digital age.