Q&A: Richard Stallman, founder of the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation
Nov 18, 2008, 19:35 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Rosalie Marshall)
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"Clearly there's a cost saving element - but how about the
people that had jobs with commercial firms, but are then made
redundant because customers decide to go with free software instead
and no longer need support from commercial suppliers?
"This scenario seems to be based on a misconception. Migrating
to free software doesn't reduce the market for support. Users that
bought commercial support when they used proprietary software
generally continue wanting commercial support when they switch to
free software. One of the advantages of free software is that it
permits a free market for support.
"But there's something more fundamentally screwy in this
scenario: confusion about values. It seems to presume that users
will - or is it should? - let a company have unjust power over them
for the sake of increasing that company's income. When you are
collecting for this perverse form of charity, you can count me out.
I see no positive value in a program that requires people to cede
their freedom as a condition of use."