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TeeJay (2309)

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Working in Truro
Graduate with BSc (Hons) in Computer Systems and Networks
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Journal of TeeJay (2309)

Friday June 20, 2003
10:01 AM

free software for libraries

[ #12969 ]
wouldn't it be cool if you could get relatively up to date free software on CDROM from your local library.

I want to try and make free software and documentation available at your local library.

My plan is to organise a website and mailing list of people with CD Burners and fast connections, people with contacts to library people and people with the time and skills to bundle up software into packages suitable for Joe Learner.. in that order

Hopefully we can organise a press thing with an MP, a bunch of pilot libraries and point people (i.e. LUGs, schools, and librarians) at our website.

Any assistance (websites, mailing lists, offers to burn CDs and helpful MP's) would be much appreciated

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  • I think it's a good idea in principle, BUT there are problems.

    Many libraries I've seen have been got at, and are full of expensive Dell/HP/IBM PCs running expensive proprietary operating systems like Windows XP. If you come along trying to distribute "free" open source software, you may find the shadow of FUD being cast over the poor old library, by the BSA/Microsoft: what if it's not free software? what if it's pirated? what if it's kiddie porn? how could a self respecting Windows using library protect i

    -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
    • There is actually a pretty strong community of open source developers in the library community. Check out oss4lib [] for details. Believe it or not, there is also perl4lib [], which is a listserv for perl in libraries that has been around for a few years. Both would be good discussion forums for your idea.
      • I would think there would be natural affinity between libraries and Open Source.

        I've read somewhere that publishers tried to license books in the late 19th and early part of the 20th Century to fight the growing 'threat' of the many libraries that were springing up. These licenses allowed you to read the book, but not to lend it out. This was struck down in the Supreme Court and the concept of First Sale was established that basically gave you the rights to do whatever you wanted with copyrighted materia