[Linux-aus] Young Aussies say pirated software is OK

Jon 'maddog' Hall maddog at li.org
Sat Feb 7 00:27:30 EST 2009

I travel to a lot of developing nations, and this is also the word that
I get:  "maddog, all of our software is free software, because we don't
pay for it anyway."

This is why I talk less and less about the low cost of Free Software and
talk more and more about the high value associated with having the
capability to change the software if you need it, and the ability to
better integrate your software into your business.  I talk about
creating local jobs.  I talk about the Business Software Alliance, which
often swoops down to prosecute software pirates just when the company
"pirating" the software (sometimes unintentionally through poor license
tracking) is starting to make some money.

It is not by coincidence that the rates of software piracy are often
inversely proportional to the GDP of the country.  People are told in
developing nations that they need a computer and the Internet to do
business, then proprietary vendors (and you know who I mean) try charge
them 300-400 US dollars for a shiny plastic disk that the people know
only costs about 0.2 USD to make, the former price being about 100 days
wages for them.

So now I talk not only about Software Freedom, but Software Slavery.
People seem to understand slavery much more than they understand freedom
(as a recent president of the USA often demonstrated), and my talks
cover how software piracy leads to that slavery.



Jon "maddog" Hall
Executive Director           Linux International(R)
email: maddog at li.org         80 Amherst St. 
Voice: +1.603.672.4557       Amherst, N.H. 03031-3032 U.S.A.
WWW: http://www.li.org

Board Member: Uniforum Association
Board Member Emeritus: USENIX Association (2000-2006)

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