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Just how Ethical is Open Source/ Free Software?

Link to this post 21 Mar 13

Hey Guys,

So, it's been about two years (I think, I lost track) since I started my Linux adventure. Since then I have learned far more about programming than i ever did in my five years with working strictly with Windows. I've also gotten a taste of the alternative OS camp, and even tried BSD *shutters*. And, of course, I've been introduced to the Open Source/Free Software movement.

I used to believe that I was actively fighting digital tyranny by choosing only Open software (That sounded really pathetic now that I wrote it), but now I have a question that just wont go away: Why is it a moral issue? If Open Software works for you, great! If not, then go buy proprietary software. Digital goods are just commodities: of you don't like it, don't buy it. If I don't like the way Apple or Microsoft locks in their code....Then I just don't buy it. And more to the point, as far as "locking in" their customers with protected software: It's Apple's and Microsoft's code; shouldn't they be allowed to do with their product as they see fit?

Now, I FULLY realize that not everybody uses Linux for "freedom" purposes, but for those that do (think Richard Stallman. *Double Shutter*), I believe that it is a viable to question to ask: What's so evil about a digitally protected product?

Cordially,
Izzy

Link to this post 21 Mar 13

I am with you, each person should use the best tool for the job and in some cases that will be proprietary software. I do not think locking down software is necessarily bad, but it does severely limit it's evolutionary future and limit the users' capability to diagnose and correct issues.

MY observation of the FOSS loyals is that they are against proprietary software because it restricts knowledge (the source code) from the world and limits the potential for the functionality to evolve.

Link to this post 21 Mar 13

Good Point, Mfillpot

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