Master of Arts
Smith, John K.
Other advisers/committee members
Cutcliffe, Stephen H.
In the 1970s, software emerged as a distinct industry as it became unbundled from computer hardware. Corporate interests such as Microsoft commoditized software by restricting access to source code and introducing licensing agreements to limit the rights of software consumers. The Free Software Movement reacted to this by collaboratively creating software free from the restrictions of commercial license agreements. As free software, such as Linux, gained popularity, programmer Eric Raymond re-articulated the movement as Open Source, a programmer-centric software development model. This re-casting sought to supplant the movement’s consumer freedom focused ideology with a model that favored corporate approval. A schism emerged within the movement, and free software ideologues gravitated toward individual rights based activism. As the Free Software Movement splintered, its distributed collaboration model was transposed to other cultural works and its ideology informed later activist groups, such as WikiLeaks.
Campbell, Christopher Bryan, "Binary Freedom: Free Software, the Internet, and Activism in the Digital Age" (2016). Theses and Dissertations. 2536.