I have been following the ideals and philosophies of F/OSS communities, usually in the form of hackerspaces, for quite a while. Before I dived into the programming sphere, I was an active member of Free Culture & Creative Commons movements at USC, of which Coleman mentions in her article. Pushing for open forms of copyright policies in and around the Los Angeles landscape, we were headed by the infamous Cory Doctorow. We consistently badgered the USC film school, which owns all intellectual property of their students into contract reforms and additional options. We also participated in mash up parties to create original art, film and music to release under Creative Commons licenses. The whole idea of Free Culture has been a natural step forward to me, in the evolution of the Internet and networked peer to peer information exchange. Whether it has to do with artwork, design, programming or film, I will always feel inclined to release my work for further mixing and remixing. I am absolutely certain I wouldn’t be where I was today, knowing what I know, with all of the skills I’ve required, without free works to read or work of off. I hope that my own work will foster others in their creative and technical development.
Based off the article with Steve Kurtz and the other article about the Critical Art Ensemble, I feel that this kind of reactionary prosecution sets a danger precedent for amateur scientists that will surely stifle innovation in the US, particularly in chemistry and bio fields. I recall from years ago reading about the rapid drop in home chemistry kits for kids after 9/11. This point resonates deeply with me, as I owned several chemistry kits as a child, and would spend all day experimenting with different concoctions to witness the reactions.
The long term of effects of stifling scientific innovation and freedom of expression in general will not be felt for years, but the reactionary nature, combined with the successful lobbying efforts of major corporations such as Monsanto, will surely have long reaching consequences.