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Re: Release plans

From: Richard M. Stallman
Subject: Re: Release plans
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2008 08:45:37 -0400

    Your basic assumption is that if someone writes non-free software, the
    user would be totally helpless and enslaved by the author.  This is not
    true!  The person would be in a position she chose to be in BY FREE

Whether free will exists is a difficult philosophical question which
we have no need to tackle.  We can agree that making choices does
exist.  I think you are saying that these users would run the non-free
software by choice.

That may or may not be true.  Since the example is imaginary and only
vaguely specified, there is no basis to be sure what it would or would
not imply.  It is clearer to look at a real example about which we
really can know something.

Millions of people use Windows.  Why?  Partly because that's what came
on the machine, partly because they don't care, and partly by choice.
And when they do it by choice, why did they make that choice?  Partly
due to network effect, partly because that's what possible or real
employers use, partly because that's what the school taught them.
Perhaps some people actually like it.  Maybe they don't mind the
malicious features, or maybe they don't know about them, or maybe they
choose not to think about them.

But all those things are beside the point.  Windows subjugates the
user, and that's wrong even if people choose to be subjugated.

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