Discussion Thread: "Free Software" Essay

Discussion Thread: "Free Software" Essay

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Richard Stallman states that the freedom of the public in general is the primary argument to give away open software. He is convinced that a program is license free when users can run it as their wish, when users are free to improve it and to adapt it to their needs, and when users can distribute copies at will to benefit the entire community. Stallman signs over all his rights to the people.
I think that Stallman’s approach should be adopted because the good for society should prevail over the benefit of only one entity. More people would be able to use it and develop existing programs to create better ones. Sometimes a single individual cannot re-invent the wheel but a group can. That discovery can help society that can go a step forward for the public good.

It is a fact that the free software may impact the quantity of produced software. If users do not buy a product, companies are losing potential benefits. However, every time software is financially out of reach, many users found a creative way to circumvent the program. Without creation, society cannot progress. Second, when someone can learn from it, re-write, and rebuilt the program to improve it, the quality of the free software is improved for the benefit of others. On the contrary, proprietary software is only modifiable by the manufacturer. Many times, users are frustrated with a product that does not work the way it was expected. Very often, companies misrepresent what the software does.
I believe that without being authorized to rebuild a program, one cannot learn, develop their full potential, and improve the results. Releasing open source software might widen the development of innovative programs. The free approach improves the quality of software.

In ...

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...in China while MS Office weighs in with 68% there. The analysis looked at visitors from more than 20 countries and found use of OpenOffice.org is highest in Europe and not even in double digits in the United States.
In summary, I believe that open free software should be free for the majority of non-professional people. Companies need sophisticated program to run their companies and can afford the spending, common people and most students need simple interfaces as they only run a small portion of the software. The alternative of open source software is a good alternative.

Works Cited
Brockmeier, J. http://ostatic.com/blog/openoffice-org-by-the-numbers retrieved on February 15, 2010
Baase, S. (2008). A Gift of Fire: Social,Legal, and Ethical Issues for Computing and the Internet (Third edition). Upper Saddle River, N.J., New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.

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