My paper on FOSS and information ethics has been published in the Journal of Ethics and Information Technology. In a nutshell, I present the argument that FOSS can provide an avenue for social justice. It can be used to combat what I call "information poverty," where one is perpetually trapped in the role of a consumer, but never an owner, of information. Such a position places one at the liberty of others. I argue that FOSS and similar movements (like Creative Commons) provide mechanism that will not only provide the information poor with much-needed access to (and, in some sense, ownershipt of) information, but also prove to be an invaluable teaching tool.
George Thiruvathukal and Konstantin Laufer, both founding members of ETL, were instrumental in getting this paper. (In fact, Konstantin's father, a professor of economics, also provided valuable input.)
Paul Leisen, a fellow philosopher from Loyola, also helped out a lot, as did Tom Wren.
And, of course, I can't give enough credit to Samir Chopra and Scott Dexter, who were absolutely instrumental in getting this article off the ground.
At the Foundations of Information Justice
Matthew P. Butcher
Ethics and Information Technology
ISSN 1388-1957 (Print) 1572-8439 (Online)
Issue Volume 11, Number 1 / March, 2009
SpringerLink Date Wednesday, February 11, 2009