Free Culture and the Internet

DDJ Review of Lessig Free Culture

[ Jolitz Heritage Lynne Greer Jolitz Free Culture and the Internet ]

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Lynne Jolitz and copyright

Lynne Jolitz, writer and technologist, was not only the co-creator of the 386BSD operating system - the first open source Berkeley Unix release for the X86 platform - she was also a leader in the fight for the Berkeley open source copyright. Since her days as an executive at Symmetric Computer Systems, one of the first BSD UNIX startups, Lynne has always sung the praises of the great university work called the Berkeley Software Distribution. Of course, Berkeley is also Lynne's alma-mater, and its influence on academic achievement and battles for academic freedom is also strongly felt. Her ringing endorsement of the Berkeley open source copyright and her own corporate experience, Copyright, Copyleft, and Competitive Advantage appeared in Dr. Dobbs Journal as part of PORTING UNIX TO THE 386: LANGUAGE TOOLS CROSS SUPPORT a decade before the legal community found it fashionable dinner conversation.

Lynne Jolitz Lessig Book Review

It comes as no surprise that Lynne Joliz, open source pioneer, has just published (September 2004) a book review in Dr. Dobbs Journal entitled Free Culture and the Internet discussing Larry Lessig's new book. Lessig's book tackles the thorny issues of copyright, control of works, and fair use in a technologic Internet age, and has no easy answers. "I've admired Larry Lessig of Stanford Law School for his work on the Creative Commons. So I was pleased when he kindly sent me a copy of his new book "Free Culture". It's a wonderful book to review. Larry Lessig writes clearly and with passion, yet he is not one to excuse his missteps or losses. He is a confident and committed presence for the open source community."

Lynne Jolitz recalled when 386BSD was introduced by Jon Erickson, Editor-in-Chief of Dr. Dobbs Journal in his January 1991 editorial The Right Thing to Do, where he began with the the forthright words "Every now and then, the right things get done for the right reasons - and at just the right time. So it is this month as we launch a major series of articles by Bill and Lynne Jolitz...porting BSD Unix to the 80386/486 platform." Jon goes on later to remind people of the difficulty of working with Unix, "There are a number of significant points here. For one thing, you won't need tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in hardware to use the operating system. Less apparent, but perhaps more important, is that 386BSD (as Bill refers to the port) will be free of AT&T code - the only license required will be that issues by the University of California." Four months before Linus Torvalds announced his determination to create Linux, 386BSD was introduced to the world, all due to the perserverence of a small group of Berkeley idealists and one visionary editor. As Lynne likes to say nowadays "Actually, it takes more than a group of technologists or inventors to make the dream real - it takes connecting to real people and becoming part of their lives. Jon Erickson was the guy who had the foresight to make it happen. All open source projects today owe him a debt of thanks."

Lynne Jolitz Open Source

Lynne Jolitz has observed the confluence of many factors now affecting the open source community 15 years after 386BSD was first proposed in 386BSD: A Modest Proposal. "With the many lawsuits over derivation and contract violation, open source has been tarred with the questionable actions of a few. Yet how could we get by without open source in a competitive world? My own datacenter uses Berkeley Unix - a proud continuation of our 386BSD heritage. How could we easily use the Internet, without the dedicated people who have created Apache? Or looking further back, how could we even communicate without people like Dr. Vinton Cerf who gave us TCP/IP and the Internet, and Tim Berners-Lee, who gave us the web?" Lynne's observations comparing Lessig's court of public opinion to SCO's court of final opinion appears in A Tale of Two Opinions.

Related

September 2004. Dr. Dobbs Journal, USA. Free Culture And the Internet. Lynne Jolitz reviews the book Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig. See also Free Culture and the Internet

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