No software is free?

So I finally started reading Clipmarks again and like reddit and Digg it’s a great place for random news and stuff. For the benefit for those who haven’t heard or used Clipmarks, it is a site that aggregates clips made by users of the articles or webpages they visit. User clip the most important / interesting parts of the article which is what is presented to the reader along with the original source to get the full story. It’s a great concept and a good place to get random or filtered information. You can even create your own searches, e.g. one for Linux or Technology.

Anyway I found an article entitled ‘Stupid Teacher’ that I just had to post: Original article w/ email response | clipped article. Though I think it’s more of an uninformed/ignorant teacher rather than stupid, but she should have done more research before sending out that email.

“…observed one of my students with a group of other children gathered around his laptop. Upon looking at his computer, I saw he was giving a demonstration of some sort. The student was showing the ability of the laptop and handing out Linux disks.

confiscating the disks I called a confrence with the student and that is how I came to discover you and your organization. Mr. Starks, I am sure you strongly believe in what you are doing but I cannot either support your efforts or allow them to happen in my classroom. At this point, I am not sure what you are doing is legal. No software is free and spreading that misconception is harmful. These children look up to adults for guidance and discipline. I will research this as time allows and I want to assure you, if you are doing anything illegal, I will pursue charges as the law allows.

I just had to laugh at the “No software is free and spreading that misconception is harmful” bit. Come on people, get with the times, with the free and open source software movement up and about, bringing us software like Linux, Ubuntu and most notably Firefox, one can no longer say something like “no software is free”. Of course this concept of free is free as in beer, cost-wise. The other type of free (libre), as in speech, now that’s a whole topic altogether.

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