[Trisquel-users] Proprietary software as result of psychological problems

Tiberiu C. Turbureanu tct at ceata.org
Sun Dec 22 12:19:19 CET 2013

În 2013-12-22 12:09, aaz893 at mail.ru a scris:
> Excuse me, but did you ever heard of so-called "situational ethics"?
> There aren't absolute unethical actions.

There are a lot of examples of absolute unethical actions. Human slavery 
is one of them and it's forbidden by international human rights treaties 
and it's fought against it all over the world.

> For example, I consider meat is unethical  in my current
> situation.

I don't care what you do in your personal life, nor should you about 
what I do in mine. If I use public software libraries to develop a piece 
of software to fit my needs and I am its sole user because I don't 
release it to the public (nor I give it to acquaintances), it's no 
business of yours. It doesn't affect you that I write and use my 
not-released software. Free or nonfree labels don't apply for this piece 
of software.

> But if I  would need meat for  my  survival, then I will
> eat it. Even if it will be a  human meat.

This will not justify cannibalism, which is an unethical practice by all 

> And nobody can force anybody to take so-called "ethical job".

No individual can, but a law can. Many states consider prostitution to 
be unethical and the forbid it by laws. Regardless of what you think 
(that is ethical or not), it is forbidden by law. And the policemen are 
enforcing the law. The same goes with drug trafficking.

However, because there is no such a law and proprietary software 
distribution is legal, nobody can ask policemen to give fines to 
software companies for restricting users and to take into custody 
proprietary software managers and developers.

But what we in the free software community is to blame people who help 
enslaving users. We need to condemn all proprietary software practices. 
And we should never take proprietary software developers' side, like 
they are some poor computer scientists who only follow orders because 
otherwise they (and their family) would starve and die of hunger.

> That is her/his personal decision.

Her/his personal decision affects other people, because (s)he is working 
on user subjugating software. It can be the personal decision of a 
President or a Prime Minister to declare war on a neighbouring country 
and the law can allow this, because it's her/his right by Constitution. 
But this doesn't mean it doesn't affect tens, hundreds of millions of 
people and that is ethical, instead of negotiating and peacefully 
settling any differences between the two countries.

> Beside, meat is ethical in YOUR opinion.

I raise a sheep and sacrifice it and eat it. It doesn't affect you. 
Whether what I am doing is ethical or not for you, it doesn't hurt you I 
eat my sheep.

I write a piece of software for myself and I use it all my life without 
releasing it. It doesn't affect you. Whether what I am doing is ethical 
or not for you, it doesn't hurt you I use my software only for myself.

In contrast, if I write a piece of software and I make it public (I 
release it) under a proprietary license and you use my software, it 
affects you. I am unethical and you can clearly see that, because I 
don't allow you to install it on multiple machines and to modify it to 
better serve your needs. My personal decision is affecting you, me being 
an unethical software developer hurts you as a my software user. I have 
control over you and we are both humans. You depend only on me and 
that's wrong. I am anti-social with you and you can see that.

> I have only one
> choice. I must convince you that  giving up meat will fit your
> egotistical interests. For example, "You know,  in average vegetarians
> have longer lifespan than meat-eaters,  blah-blah-blah".

Right. And if that's why I would avoid meat, it doesn't mean I would 
never eat meat again. I can let go to 10 additional minutes of my life 
for a special occasion, like at a dinner with my parents whom I didn't 
see for a whole year or a reunion with my former colleagues from 
university whom I didn't see for 10 years. The same goes with alcohol, 
tobacco and so on.

Practical reasons (even if they are true) are not enough for a human 
being to not do something, like eating meat or using/developing 
proprietary software. It's not a strong enough reason, because we humans 
don't always follow doctors' orders. But we certainly don't want to live 
with the guilt of doing something unethical which will haunt us for the 
rest of our lives, like eating human meat. That is because we have 

> That is also
> true for FSF-lovers movement.

Don't forget you are using one of free software movement's forums of a 
FSF-endorsed free distribution of GNU+Linux. You are using this forum to 
attack the reason while Trisquel is developed, to challenge the free 
software philosophy and to turn our users' interest away from the free 
software movement to the "open source" camp.

You are directly and shamelessly working publicly against the free 
software movement using it's own communication channels. I am sure you 
are aware of that.

> If you want to  change the world, then
> you must swallow your pride and try to convince  developers of
> proprietary software that FLOSS more profitable for them.

That might not be true and not even generally true, and you have no way 
of proving such a statement. And like in the case of eating meat, this 
might convince proprietary software developers to prefer developing free 
software rather than continue developing proprietary software, but it 
doesn't mean they will stop restricting users and never look back. What 
usually happens (and you can see this in many if not most of projects 
that call themselves "open source"), they distribute proprietary 
software along with free software. It is actually the reason why 
Trisquel was forked from Debian and later from Ubuntu and the reason why 
this forum you are using against the movement even exist.

So it doesn't mean they will stop what they did in the past. Especially 
when your doctor discovers you have cancer which has developed in the 
last 5 years, although half of your life you have been a vegetarian 
(let's say, for 20 years). Or especially when you are forced to declare 
bankruptcy after trying for 5 years to make a profit with free software.

Tiberiu C. Turbureanu
Președinte, Fundația Ceata
Telefon: +40-761-810-100
GPG: 8B51 53CB 354E 3049 FAE9  3260 F033 8452 4154 1967

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