Peter Harrison – Vice President, New Zealand Open Source Society

“What is open source? There are really two aspects to open source. There is, if you like, the ideology of open source which is about freedom and there is also the promotion of open source as a technology. The two things are quite separate in many respects and the organisation that I’m involved with has programmes around both of those. Open source is basically four freedoms which define it: the freedom to be able to use it freely without any kind of licensing restrictions or monetary consideration, there’s the ability to copy it so that you can copy it onto multiple machines, there’s the ability to distribute it so you can share it with your friends, and there’s the freedom to be able to modify the software so that implies the ability to have the source code and be able to play with it. Of course, not everyone can do that, not everyone is a software developer but if you are, it does give you that freedom. From my perspective, that’s the most important freedom because it allows innovation and creativity. To build up a bit like the scientific method where obviously different scientists come up with different inventions, different discoveries, and they build on top of each other... and it’s the same for open source.”


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