Freedom of thought and open-source software (lecture by Eben Moglen)

July 28, 2012

Eben Moglen, professor of law and legal history at Columbia University, as well as founder, Director-Counsel and Chairman of Software Freedom Law Center and long-term supporter of organizations like the Free Software Foundation, is a lecturer and free software/open-source advocate. Though the following lecture and interview only covers so much, they do serve as a good introduction to his extensive body of work.

Why Freedom of Thought Requires Free Media and Why Free Media Require Free Technology

This lecture was held during the Re:publica 2012 conference in Berlin. It describes in detail why the current societal model, in which proprietary software and hardware serve to undermine the democratic process by suppressing freedom of thought, privacy rights and the free access to information, needs to be restructured to cater to the maximization of human well-being rather than corporate/governmental control and profit maximization.


The death of Mr. Jobs is a positive event. I’m sorry to break it to you like that. He was a great artist and a moral monster. And he brought us closer to the end of freedom every time he put something out [..]. Inside those fine little boxes with the bit-up apples on them […] is a bunch of free software, tailored to give him control. […] He screwed us every time he could and he took everything we gave him and he made beautiful stuff that controlled it’s users.

Follow up interview with more on Facebook, Google and Government Surveillance.


At Facebook, if you run the place, you can tell who will have a love affair before the people know. Because you know, that girl is obsessively checking Facebook page of boy.

It’s not bad to have social networking. Social networking is wonderful and important, it changes human life. It’s bad to have it in a badly designed way.

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Democracy Now