Why the recession means boom time for free software

Forgive the self-linkage, but I want to direct you to my recent feature in this week’s Guardian Technology supplement. It examines the recent growth of free software around the world and wonders if the recession is the main reasons for its surge in popularity:

“Richard Stallman once wrote that the point about free software is it is “free as in freedom, not free as in beer”, meaning that people should be at liberty to do as they pleased with software, rather than subscribe to its restrictive licences. As the recession takes hold, the stress may be on the second half of his now-famous aphorism. To the millions downloading free software in a recession, the point is that it is free – as in free beer.”