ethical ubuntu

Guido Heumann listguido at
Thu Jun 15 18:26:29 BST 2006

baza schrieb:
> I use Linux for a number of reasons, the main one being the software is
> free and in free beer for the most part. Not having any money this
> allows me to do all the IT stuff I need.
> What I don't really understand is why is it unethical to use proprietary
> software?
> Baz

Hi Baz,

very short explanation, just to give you a hint in this direction:

There are (at least) two aspects which one might consider "unethical"
about proprietary software licenses.
The first one is often explained in speeches by Richard Stallman, and is
about social/community interaction. If it is natural and good for people
to share nice things with their friends, then it is not natural and good
to accept a license clause which basically says: Never share this
software with anybody, even with your friends! If you accept such a
proprietary license, you will face the "moral dilemma" as soon as a good
friend of yours asks you for a copy of the software: either tell him
"no", or infringe the license.

The second aspect is more pragmatic. In my experience, most
(Windows-)users really don't care about "pirating softare", i.e. sharing
proprietary software with their friends. Problems is, this (normal,
illegal behaviour) is getting more and more dangerous as the RIAA and
other Intellectual Property groups are pushing the lawmakers worldwide
to impose real sanctions on such "pirates". With free software we have
the chance to raise awareness of the "normal" day-to-day "pirating" that
many people are doing, and give them a LEGAl alternative.

I'm sure there are more ethical aspects of free software, but I hope you
get the basic points now.


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