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Free as in Freedom, Not Free as in Freeloader

Nov 25, 2008, 22:04 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Carla Schroder)

"Every time you purchase a software license for a product encumbered with shoddy patents and ridiculous, restrictive EULAs you are giving your support to shoddy patents and bogus EULAs. Every time you purchase a software license for a closed, proprietary, non-interoperable, non-standards compliant product you are saying that vendor lock-in is OK, and your data do not belong to you.

"Contrast that with Free Software. By its nature Free Software is ethical: it is completely open, nothing is hidden, there are no sneaky backdoors, spyware, rootkits, or any of the other vile crimes-that-are-not-punished perpetrated by commercial software vendors. Nobody goes to jail for exposing flaws or talking about how the technology works. There are no EULAs or NDAs. There is little closed-door plotting; most discussions are out in the open for anyone to see, or even participate in. That is why people like me get so impatient with the demands to make Linux more friendly to closed-source proprietary software-- it is fundamentally opposed to what Free Software is all about. It's like saying that a little toxic waste in the water is OK, a little more air pollution isn't a problem because it's 90% pure, and only zealots and purists want 100%."

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