Week 1. Introduction to the course. Human rights in Computing, Four Essential Freedoms. Patents.
1.1. Introduction. Human rights in computing
- Most important question to judge the program: What does it do for my freedom?
- Difference between free and proprietary software.
- Human rights in computing. Overview.
1.2. Free Software and Four Freedoms. Free GNU/Linux distros. Malicious software
- Software freedom: What is it?
- Four essentials freedoms:
- The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose.
- The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish.
- The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.
- The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others.
- Why software freedoms are essential.
- GNU/Linux operating system. History and current status.
- Freedom as a goal. Free GNU/Linux distributions.
- Features of malicious software: Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and Surveillance.
- How proprietary software is promoted by its victims: Skype example.
- Free software is a matter of liberty, not price.
1.3. Computational idea patents and why they are bad. Real-life examples
- What is computational idea patent?
- Why computational idea patents are bad?
- Patents and copyrights are totally different things.
- Analogy with music: imagine that there are musical idea patents (e.g., for melody).
- Writing a program (as well as writing a symphony): combination of new and familiar ideas.
- Computational idea patents in real life: LZW and natural order recalculation examples.