Proprietary software considered less useful
Posted Jul 5, 2012 13:18 UTC (Thu) by man_ls
In reply to: Zacchiroli: working with FSF on Debian Free-ness assessment
Parent article: Zacchiroli: working with FSF on Debian Free-ness assessment
Don't you agree that the lack of freedoms in the latter, that presumably leads you to choose the former, would be detrimental (and thus harmful) to you, no matter how much you need the features offered by the software?
I don't agree at all. Proprietary software is less useful
than free software, but it is not harmful
. Having to use unrar from the nonfree repos because the free unrar doesn't work for me, I am not harmed by the former. True, I lose some of my freedoms to study and modify the code, but usually I don't want to exercise those freedoms so I don't care -- I just want to decompress the fine .rar archives.
Is the free version actively harmed because (having the nonfree binary) nobody cares enough to make it work? True. Again, is it harmful to users? Nope, it is just less useful than it would be otherwise.
Other proprietary software can be actively harmful because it is full of security holes (like Acrobat), it places impractical restrictions on how we use software (like DVD players), or locks people down to proprietary formats (like Office), but being proprietary per se is not so relevant -- many of the same effects can be achieved with free software.
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