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Kadie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 06:22 PM
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Celebrities at Social Forum plug free software to eliminate divide between
Celebrities at Social Forum plug free software to eliminate divide between rich and poor countries
ALAN CLENDENNING, Associated Press Writer

Saturday, January 29, 2005

(01-29) 14:11 PST PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (AP) --

Activists at a leftist gathering where Microsoft is viewed as a corporate bogeyman urged developing nations Saturday to leap into the information age with free open-source software.

In a packed warehouse where tens of thousands are attending the World Social Forum, Grateful Dead lyricist John Barlow said poor nations can't solve their problems unless they stop paying expensive software licensing fees.

Open source software includes programs that are not controlled by a single company. The software can be developed by anyone, with few restrictions. The best known such software is the Linux operating system, which can be downloaded free from the Internet.

"Already, Brazil spends more in licensing fees on proprietary software than it spends on hunger," said Barlow, co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a cyberspace civil liberties group.

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