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Freedom & Piracy
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| OK, I’ll get off my soapbox now. Where’s the FUD? “Everyone” knows that the
| Linux community was started by a “bunch of hackers” and the negative
| connotation that accompanies that statement is well-understood. “You Linux
| people want everything for free!” This perception unjustly deposits the Linux
| community in the same class as pirates. I occasionally come across the
| accusation that Linux egregiously promotes piracy, though this is most often
| made in the context of copyright violations in the entertainment industry.
| The truth is, (intellectually) Free Software is available to those who
| disagree with the concept and/or laws of intellectual property. Usually, Free
| Software is also (gratis) free or low-cost software, because intellectual
| protection is often what permits software price gouging. The authors are
| usually the first users of a Free software package, so overall quality is
| generally higher than one might expect. As expressed in the articles above,
| the availability of Free Software should reduce or eliminate the
| perceived “need” for piracy. Free Software is not limited to the Linux
| platform, but the Linux community supports and fosters this mentality
Anti-piracy day? No thanks
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| Today is Microsoft’s self-declared Global Anti-Piracy Day. No surprise then
| that the local arm of the Business Software Alliance has been ringing up
| journalists over the past couple of days with the ominous news that South
| Africa is losing between R2.8 billion to software pirates every year.
| As usual, the BSA statements are sweeping and presumptive.
| For a start, South Africa doesn’t really lose all this money. Most of the
| licensing money heads straight overseas to companies like Microsoft and Adobe
| with this country holding on to very little of it.
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