the “free software” of land ownership

The FLOSS movement has questioned (or at least provided an alternative to) private ownership of software. One can, on very similar grounds, question private ownership of land (and historically the followers of Henry George have). Recently the E. F. Schumacher Society has published its work on forming community land trusts including actual legal documents that have been used to set up these organizations. Private ownership of land is burned much deeper into our psyche’s than private ownership of software. Thus even though many of the exact same issues are at stake, we are much less likely to see these two realms of ownership in the same light. The Schumacher Societie’s approach, however, bears close study because it steers so far clear of communistic and centralized approaches that we might rightly fear.

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