Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Is It Ever a Good Thing to Use a Nonfree Program?

Filed under

If you run a nonfree program on your computer, it denies your freedom; the main one harmed is you. Your usage of it can harm others indirectly, by encouraging development of that nonfree program. If you make a promise not to redistribute the program to others, you do wrong, because breaking such a promise is bad and keeping it is worse. Still, the main direct harm is to you.

It is even worse if you recommend that others run the nonfree program, or lead them to do so. When you do that, you're leading them to give up their freedom. Thus, what we should avoid most firmly is leading or encouraging others to run nonfree software. (Where the program uses a secret protocol for communication, as in the case of Skype, your own use of it pressures others to use it too, so it is especially important to reject any use of these programs.)

But there is one special case where using some nonfree software, and even urging others to use it, can be a positive thing. That's when the use of the nonfree software aims directly at putting an end to the use of that very same nonfree software.

rest here

More in Tux Machines

Historians and detectives keep track of data with open source tool

Segrada is a piece of open source software that allows historians (and detectives) to keep track of their data. Unlike wikis or archival databases, its focus lies on information and interrelations within it. Pieces of information might represent persons, places, things, or concepts. These "nodes" can be bidirectionally connected with each other to semantically represent friendship, blood relation, whereabouts, authorship, and so on. Hence the term "semantic graph database," since information can be displayed as a graph of semantically connected nodes. Read more

today's leftovers


  • Studio 13.37 v2.3 released!
    Slick, stylish, and modern, with advanced technologies under the hood like a realtime kernel and automatic system tuning at boot, Studio 13.37 pushes the limits of what a Linux-based pro audio studio can do.
  • This Week in Solus #11
  • LabxNow adds 150K custom images
    When we came across LabxNow earlier we visioned it as a better alternative to Koding. However, it seems that the team has stronger ideas in mind. LabxNow has become in the cloud what Distroshare intended to become for your local hardware. In a recent communication, the team updated us of their new features to create custom projects (or generate from templates). There are 150K (you read it right) images to choose from when you are setting up a customer project environment.
  • KNOPPIX 7.6.0 Screencast and Screenshots
  • KNOPPIX 7.6.0 / ADRIANE 1.7 Release
  • How to Install and configure Redis on Ubuntu 14.04
  • Exclusive Interview with SUSE President Nils Brauckmann
    SUSE is one of the trinities of the Linux world which comprises Canonical, Red Hat and SUSE. As a top contributor to many open source projects, SUSE is also one of the champions of the open source world:. I sat down with Nils Brauckmann, the President and General Manager of SUSE, at SUSECon 2015 to talk about SUSE, its strengths, and its plans for the future.

Red Hat News