[UPHPU] open source software and freedom (was: Zend Studio)

Daniel C. dcrookston at gmail.com
Fri Jun 3 12:30:58 MDT 2005


On 6/3/05, Lonnie Olson <fungus at aros.net> wrote:
> The freedoms you give up by purchasing a closed-source/Non-Free
> license include, but not limited to:
> 
> * The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
> * The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your
> needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
> * The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
> (freedom 2).
> * The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements
> to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3).
> Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
> 
> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
> --lonnie

I think your argument is faulty here.  You said that you give up these
three freedoms by purchasing a closed source product.  The flaw in
your argument is the "give up" part.  In order to give something up
you need to have it in the first place.  Neither you nor I have the
freedom to run Zend Studio for any purpose currently.  We don't have
the freedom to study how Zend Studio works and adapt it to our needs. 
We don't have the freedom to redistribute copies.  Since we don't have
these freedoms before we buy the license, we're not giving them up by
buying it.  In fact, we're gaining freedoms by buying the license -
we're gaining the freedom to legally use a feature rich piece of
software.

The only difference between paying $100 to use a feature rich piece of
software and paying $0 to use a feature rich piece of software is the
opportunity cost - what we could have done with the $100 had we not
spent it on the software license.  If using Zend legally is more
important to us than the other things we could have spent that money
on, and the purchaser is aware of the FOSS alternatives, then it's a
wise purchase.

Dan




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