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http://news.bbc.co.uk

To pay so much attention to Bill Gates' retirement is missing the point. What really matters is not Gates, nor Microsoft, but the unethical system of restrictions that Microsoft, like many other software companies, imposes on its customers.

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Quadduc's picture
Created by Quadduc 6 years 10 weeks ago – Made popular 6 years 10 weeks ago
Category: Philosophy   Tags:
aboutblank's picture

aboutblank

6 years 10 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago

3

Free Software is a Matter of Liberty

In this article, RMS outlines why proprietary software should be rejected an all cases: proprietary software is designed to divide and subjugate all users. It really doesn't matter who the master of the software is, whether the master is Microsoft, Adobe, Oracle or Nintendo, you should reject their proprietary offerings if you wish to remain free.

This leads me to my next point. Why does Microsoft playing games with their proprietary software be of any consequence to the free software community? If you are harmed by MS's decisions, it's because you depend on their proprietary programs. Being harmed by proprietary programs is not news to the free software community and MS's actions are equally non-ethical as every other proprietor.

Like RMS, I don't hate Gates, I hate the game he's playing. Software proprietors have control over our lives because we give them this control by accepting their proprietary offerings. Demand only freedom and you will be free.

crimperman's picture

crimperman

6 years 10 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago

4

Because we care..

"Why does Microsoft playing games with their proprietary software be of any consequence to the free software community? If you are harmed by MS's decisions, it's because you depend on their proprietary programs."

My dad has a saying for that kind of statement: "I'm alright Jack, pull the ladder up". To hold such a view means that - since I do not use proprietary software - I no longer have to care about those who do. Well, I do care about them and that concern stems from the fact that I want them to have freedom in their software and try to help them to see why.

To say that the free software community should not be bothered by what Microsoft does to its victims^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hcustomers is like saying that I (a native Brit in the UK) should not be concerned by how Mugabe mistreats the citizens of Zimbabwe. Whilst I may not be directly and materially affected by the decisions of either of those two dictators, I am *morally* affected by their mistreatment of those they pretend to serve.

"Being harmed by proprietary programs is not news to the free software community and MS's actions are equally non-ethical as every other proprietor."

But it *is* news to a lot of people not in our community. Rightly or wrongly the people who buy Microsoft software are usually unaware of the full consequences until it is too late. Now if only somebody had warned them before hand.

aboutblank's picture

aboutblank

6 years 9 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago

1

re: Because we care..

So this news isn't of any material concern to the free software community. This news is really for those that don't know about the harm of proprietary software and you use it as examples of harm. I don't have a problem with that.

What I have a problem is that these articles do nothing to get people to think about their essential freedom . This is important because the lack of commentary about software freedom implies that harmful action x is an anomaly to the norm and that all would be fine if all software proprietors did not do harmful action x. The reality is, harmful action x is just a symptom to the larger problem of user helplessness relating to user subjugation, but people don't understand this so there needs to be more than just reports about harmful action x.

Microsoft's actions regarding their proprietary software are no different to the actions of any other software proprietor and their own proprietary software. Without the freedom commentary, the news of Microsoft is no different to the news of other software proprietors. We really don't need any more news about the actions of software proprietors if it doesn't have any direct relevance to the free software community unless there is associated commentary that gets people to think about their freedom.

Starchild's picture

Starchild

6 years 10 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago

2

Wrong License Link

The link BBC provides to the article's license is inaccurate. They link to the cc by-nc-nd license which prohibits non-commercial use while the RMS article is licensed under a No-Derives only license which is more than likely this one:
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/