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Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Manchester school students and software freedom

From: Benjamin Webb
Subject: Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Manchester school students and software freedom
Date: Mon, 5 May 2008 23:27:04 +0100

2008/5/5 Fred Phillips <address@hidden>:
>  This brings me nicely to a point I made in the gnu.misc.discuss list
>  and Ben's blog
This point does not seem to have been made on my blog. I'm not sure if
you're misunderstanding me here.

> where is an acceptable place to use proprietary
>  software? My school <http://queenelizabeth.cumbria.sch.uk> (not
>  Manchester, I know) provides proprietary software for their OCR
>  physics course (Advancing Physics from the IOP), with no free
>  alternative. I have a choice of running Microsoft Windows in a virtual
>  machine (the software does not function in WINE) or getting all of my
>  work done whilst at school. Either way I will have to give up my
>  freedom in one way or another.

I do the same cause and also have a CD, which I did manage to get
working under WINE. As a result, for me it is less of an issue, as I
do not have to run a proprietary operating system. (I also don't have
much of a problem since we hardly ever use the CD). In addition, the
program is not really a tool, but content, which like games, does not
need to be free. However, the program for viewing that program
(FolioViews, at least in my case) ought to be free, which is where the
problem is.

As for what you say about using the PCs at school - do any of the pcs
at your school run a free OS? If not, do you refuse to use them during
lessons? If you can not do this, you can hardly complain that you must
use them to look stuff up for lessons. In fact, it would be possible
to boycott the software (and make a point), since the software is
mainly reference information, tell your teacher that you refuse to use
the CD and wish him to print the material out for you (or, if you wish
to be particularly cruel, ask for it open document format).

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