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Re: [gNewSense-users] Re: Freedom and webapps

From: Guy Johnston
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] Re: Freedom and webapps
Date: Tue, 06 Feb 2007 01:08:23 +0000
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20070103)

There are ethical objections to not releasing source code for a
programme. Without it, it's more or less impossible to understand how
the programme works and to modify it, so this isn't much different to
prohibiting studying and modifying it through legal means. When you stop
someone studying how their software works, this is unethical, because
they can't tell if there's malicious features in it or what bugs it
contains. When you stop them from modifying it, this is unethical
because you leave them helpless, by taking away their ability to control
what their software does, so you take away their control over part of
their life.

These problems could easily be solved by releasing the programme in
source code form as well as executable form. There's no fundamental
difference between using legal means and technical means to take away
other people's freedom. It still has the same negative effect on them.


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