Electronic Freedom for who?

One of the posters on /r/guitar/, a gentleman (a real one) who advocates for Electronic Freedom (EFF) and Open Source (FOSS), noted that an entire geek faction believes that all software should be free of any copyright or patent protection.  It occurs to me that maybe few of those people have any disabilities.

If they did, they might find that the Supreme Court of the United States has rendered decision after decision holding that business does not have to put up with (accommodate) people with disabilities.  The opinions in Toyota v. Williams (2002), for example, were especially tortured.  If a business merely decides that any person with a disability interferes with a business necessity, it may freely fire that person.  People with psychiatric disabilities, even just bad dreams, have it even worse.  If they open their mouths, they can be summarily fired for being “a danger of violence in the workplace” without any history or intention of violence.  Can you say “bigot”?

This leaves most people with disabilities unable to find work, with many attempting to create jobs for themselves.  So imagine this – an unemployed person with a disability works for months or years to develop intellectual property to sell in the marketplace or license to manufacturers.  Then somebody who has little or no impediment to employment comes along and claims, in righteous outrage, that he should have all that hard work for free.

I lost my last job in 2001 or ’02, soon after the USDA came out with training modules that identified anyone with a mental illness as a danger of violence in the workplace.  By that time, I had been living with depression and PTSD for about 50 years, with little or no history of violence or drug abuse, the major risk factors for future violence.  Never mind the injuries from a drinking driver in 1985 that cut down on working full time.

Not being allowed to do productive work kills the soul.  Many of us do what we do to keep our sanity.  Then for some turkey to come along and demand a free lunch, or to set up an arbitrary karma block on reddit that kills posts – well now, isn’t that just special?

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