A group of students at Swarthmore College have formed a "Coalition for the Digital Commons" to combat threats to open culture and information exchange.
This translates into resisting the efforts of the RIAA to sue those who share music files, opposing the DMCA and similar expansion of intellectual property law, spreading the use of Linux and other freeware programs and fighting the plan of Microsoft and the "Trusted Computing Platform Alliance" to put monitoring chips in personal computers.
Linux, a free alternative to the Microsoft Windows operating system, lies at the heart of SCDC's philosophy. The group's short-term goals include getting more students to switch to Linux and get some Linux-based computers in public areas, to "show everyone how functional Linux is — that it's not some impractical pipedream," Pavlovsky said. A major factor in SCDC's championing of Linux is the advent of the Microsoft's new "Trusted Computing" technology, also known as the Palladium chip. This technology, already present in some new IBM ThinkPads and set to be released in the upcoming version of Windows, would require Microsoft to verify if a user has permission to open a file on his or her computer.