Criticism of libre software
- Is this fair? One thing you don't do by stealing software is get back at MITS for some problem you may have had. MITS doesn't make money selling software. The-royalty paid to us, the manual, the tape and the overhead make it a break-even operation. One thing you do do is prevent good software from being written. Who can afford to do professional work for nothing? What hobbyist can put 3-man years into programming, finding all bugs, documenting his product and distribute for free? The fact is, no one besides us has invested a lot of money in hobby software. We have written 6800 BASIC, and are wrLting 8080 APL and 6800 APL, but there is very little incentive to make this software available to hobbyists. Most directly, the thing you do is theft - Bill Gates, An Open Letter to Hobbyists
- main article: Why Software Should Not Have Owners
This is probably the oldest criticism of libre software. analysis:
- Free software != freeware software - Equivocation
- Piracy is theft - Stolen concept fallacy
- The claim that the information may be property - Doublethink; Giving someone ownership of information means restricting everyone else's rights to manage their property to the extent that that property could be used to reproduce and share information. Tldr; information property != material property.
- Without it, we will die of hunger, lack of innovation and masterpieces - Argumentum ad lazarum; This is the argument that slavery must be maintained, otherwise it will be less cotton, it will be more expensive, it will be of lower quality and the ROI will be lower than expected. Not only was slavery abolished because it was right, but it also turned out that the situation with cotton has not only not worsened, but is much better.
1. The author must count on what each of us must count on when he needs work - that there will be someone who will pay him for this work. Being an author does not release you from the obligation to obtain remuneration for your work, by way of an agreement with someone who voluntarily decides to pay for this work.
2. Criticism of libre software (or even abolitionism) is not something like a "constructive vote of no confidence", where my right will be recognized when I propose some alternative solutions to those currently in force (here the example of abolition of slavery - it was the right move, regardless of whether the abolitionists they knew new ways of growing and harvesting cotton without slaves).
3. When I violate someone else's copyright, no one gets hurt. No author in the world can say that he is being "hurt". Copying does not hurt anyone. The use of a work (idea) does not hurt anyone, unless it is an idea of how to harm someone. No harm is done by IP violation, and even this violation is not felt by anyone. I find a bizarre concept that sharing an idea with someone may be harmful - after all, we are both richer in the idea after this process.
The fact that someone is sad because they thought they would get money from me and didn't get it is not a harm. He had a completely unreasonable hope that just by the fact that he had created something and others took advantage of it, a material obligation arose. It does not arise. He hurt himself.
I did not force anyone to do this work. I did not agree to the proposed rules. It was made and whether I use it indirectly or not, nothing will change. Just like a doctor who will cure me cannot claim royalties for my healthy life (only for treatment), although then I may become a millionaire and he may become a pauper, which may seem unfair, after all, he ensured me health, and indirectly also abundance. You should be paid for your work. You shouldn't pay for ideas.
As a legally sanctioned, created and enforced anti-market monopoly, patents is neither liberal nor fair. There is no moral justification.
The ethic of reciprocity is not a subjective morality. Even if you do not consciously commit to it, you will be subjected to it, simply because people will always treat how you treat others as a demonstration of how you want to be treated.
Thus, the "leave others alone" ethics, which logically follows from the "ethics" of reciprocity, is a perfectly fitting basis for a libertarian economy in a world of competing goods, as well as for software freedom and artistic collaboration in a world of non-competitive goods.
Just as "capitalism" is the natural, peaceful, voluntary way of determining who can do something with limited physical resources, so is "gift culture" a natural, peaceful, voluntary way of determining who can do something with digital technology or with an infinitely copyable resource.
Thus, there is a legitimate reason to follow the principles of libre software that can be objectively expected of anyone. And those who do not follow the basic principles of the The Golden Rule are simply demonstrating what they think you should do to them.