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Why people don't use free software

Oct 16, 2009, 00:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)

"The whole idea runs so counter to the average user's experience that the concept of free software is simply too much for them to accept.

"When the personal computer was introduced thirty years ago, a set of assumptions about software quickly emerged. In the prevailing industry view, software is a commodity, and users are consumers.

"Unlike most commodities, however, software is licensed, not bought, and offers users few rights as consumers. Users have little input into features, and, if they can't get the software to work, they usually have trouble getting refunds on the grounds that they might be illegally copying it. In fact, they are told (with dubious legality and after they have opened the box) that by opening the box they have waived their rights to copy, lend, or do most other things that they can do with other consumer items."

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