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Re: The Real Problem With Debian

Kent West said:

> I too, believe that "You shall not steal", irregardless of whether I
> live long and happily ever after. Accordingly, I'd encourage people to
> not "warez the appz". Most of your original post I could appreciate,
> even it I didn't particularly agree with specific points, but I strongly
> take exception to the suggestion to steal. That's one of the reasons I
> love Debian and Free software in general; you don't have to be concerned
> that you've stolen it because you've failed to keep accurate records of
> licenses, or if you've paid for that copy or for this one, etc. Debian
> gives me freedom to know that I'm honest when using it. It's a good
> feeling.

I encourage people not to steal and to use free software for another
reason: lock-in.

That is, for much of software's history the protection schemes have
been fairly week making piracy easy. This appears to be changing with
the new MS DRM patents, and intel/AMD putting silicon into their
chips/chipsets to work with it. From my brief reading on it the end goal is to
eliminate piracy totally. While I have no problem with this, it
will force many people to purchase the software products if they are
to continue using them(I expect the full implimentation of this to take
several years). I've seen(and honestly, used to be) a lot of software
pirates, who have thousands of dollars of software on their systems. Thats
a lot of cash to dole out.

But I take it one step further, once these individuals have made this
large investment in their software, it will be that much harder to
convince them to change away from it. Now if all the major software
vendors used open, documented file formats I wouldn't be as worried,
but most do not, which makes reverse engineering hard on the free software
folks, time & code probably better spent on improving the application
then trying to decypher a binary file format(and re checking it after
every version of that software that comes out).

I've read not even MS office has full compadiblity accross versions(or
accross platforms). Even worse, perhaps an extreme example, one of my
former co workers wrote his resume up in word 2000. About half the
people he sent it to the document wouldn't load(they all had word
2000), at least 2 of the people installed from the same media as
he did, and yet the document still was unreadable, but others, had
no problem, wtf!! This is the only time I've heard of this happening,
but I have very little exposure to MS enviornments anymore. And this
guy is a windows expert too, not some newbie end user who only uses
computers to do basic tasks, he's quite the hacker, so I at least
find it hard to blame him for screwing up the document. I make my
resume available in 8 file formats for maximum compadiblity.


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