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Just how Ethical is Open Source/ Free Software?
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?