23 July 2010

Why Free Software is a Matter of Life and Death

As regular readers of this blog will know, free software has an importance that extends way beyond the world of software. But for most people, it's hard to understand why software freedom is really that important. So this new report “Killed by Code: Software Transparency in Implantable Medical Devices” from the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) provides a handy opportunity to get the message across:

On Open Enterprise blog.


Laurence said...

I attended a talk at Edinburgh Law School (my own alma mater) last month at which Professor Moglen explained some of these ideas, and it was very thought-provoking, not just for medical equipment (which, bizarrely, cannot be powered by free/open source software in the EU, seemingly due to fears that people could 'hack' ECG machines if they got their hands on the code that runs them) but also for crucial equipment such as flight black box recorders and the ECUs in cars. Moglen cited the recent controversy of Toyota's sticking accelerators as an example of where Linus' Law might have avoided such troubles.

Very interesting stuff, and a further significant argument - with the potential to be the most important argument - in favour of software freedom.

Glyn Moody said...

@Laurence: thanks - I'm sure Eben said it all much more logically and eloquently than I did here...what a speaker.

saulgoode said...

The Software Freedom Law Show has posted a recording of Professor Moglen's talk in Edinburgh of June 30th (presumably this is the talk to which Laurence referred).

Glyn Moody said...

@saul: thanks for the link.