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Re: why is non-free software immoral?

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: why is non-free software immoral?
Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 18:16:19 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Zen Lunatic <> writes:

> Part of me 'feels' non-free software is wrong but I would like to
> come to a philosophical truth on the matter.

Using non-free software is not wrong as long as you will never need
the freedom.  For example, the software in some household appliance
can be non-free, and it would not make a difference to you usually.

Now if we are talking about the software in your minidisc player, we
go from "no difference" to "inconvenient": if you had access to the
software, you could, for example, record stuff in the field with your
minidisc recorder and transfer it in the original digital form to your
computer.  Nada.

That's a nuisance since it hampers you in what you can achieve
technically with your own physical property.

The next step is when we are talking about software you are using for
some purpose, and somebody else could also make use of it.  You are
not allowed to copy it, so it hampers you legally in what you can
achieve with some physical property of yours (the media), namely
cloning it.

Closed software stops you from tinkering (which is a nuisance), and
proprietary software stops you from sharing (which is distasteful).

It is better to avoid such conflicts of interest.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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