[pp.int.general] Significance of use of Free and proprietary software in a political context

Richard M Stallman rms at gnu.org
Sun Feb 1 07:30:54 CET 2009

    True, but I happen not to believe that proprietary software equals  

Proprietary software keeps the users divided, or helpless, most often
both.  Divided because they are forbidden to share it.  Helpless because
they can't have the source code, so they can't change it, or check it for
malicious features or bugs.

This helplessness allows the developer to engage in nasty practices
you objected to, and others as well, such as spyware and back doors.
While DRM is at least visible -- you can see that the program refuses
to do what you ask for -- spyware and back doors can easily pass

The existence of a free program you could use instead does make a
difference: it gives you the option of rejecting the proprietary

such as secret formats, DRN, etc.  

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