Does Free Software destroy the IT Profession?

Do people voluntarily creating something for free, harm the software ecosystem and business prospects of individuals?

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A new commenter has opened a new vector of attack against Free Software in the comments of my article about manager’s dislike for IT Pros. There he tries to argue that the proliferation os Free Software and the GPL is harming the IT profession as a whole because now that anyone can write software and the combined efforts of thousands can create as much of a quality software as any capitalist company, the demand for expensive proprietary software is decreasing and thus less programming jobs can exist as there’s less opportunity to use state granted monopolies (i.e. copyrights) to make money.

The argument relies on what makes one a “Professional” and in the words of the commenter:

As for “giving many more people the opportunity to take part in the IT profession” — that’s just an outright lie. If you ain’t gettin’ paid, you ain’t a professional — and that’s by definition; go look up the word “profession” in a dictionary if you don’t believe it. All those coders putting stuff out for free? They aren’t professionals. Even if they lived up to what are laughingly known as professional standards (which they certainly do not), they wouldn’t be professionals.

This arguments sounds very much like the classic anti-piracy rhetoric from the Recording Mafias about how file-sharing is killing the music industry. But instead of file-sharing, the author here replaces it with Free Software. But the principle remains the same. When people can get something for free (whether that is free software or free music), they will not pay for it, therefore companies will not make enough profits, therefore there will not be enough jobs for people being paid explicitly to write proprietary code for sale.

But much like the music industry argument, the software industry argument is also flawed: Just because people cannot make money via the previous business models does not mean that nobody will ever make money. The Free Software business models are some of the newest experiments in money making, much like giving your music away for free is also a new experiment in making money. Both of them are not mature yet and there’s a lot of testing and trying to make them work, but there’s certainly a lot of people who do make money out of them and even better, there’s a lot more stuff being made.

And that’s the clincher really. When people complain that an industry is “dying”, they don’t really mean that less stuff related to that industry is being made but rather that those who were already using a particular business model cannot continue doing so. The original commenter’s problem is that those who were earning a lot of money by selling software cannot continue making as much or more. Why? Because free software outperforms them for a lower cost. In short the argument is that some people cannot continue selling less value for a higher price.

Of course they set it up so that it seems that it’s the poor wage-slave coder who is taking the hit by not being able to find a job or having their wages reduced. They completely forget to mention that it’s the consumers that benefit by being able to use a better quality product for a fraction of the price. In fact, the wage-slaves of the IT world have far more to fear from the Indian outsourcing companies than from Free Software which at least, when given enough critical mass, will allow far more people to work independently rather than in a wage-slave position.

Becuase this is the main way people can make money out of coding via free software. They do not have to sell their code, they only have to sell their services as a coder. They don’t build a program and then sell it, they are contracted to build and improve an already existing product which then everyone can enjoy. Taking a holistic view, this is overwhelmingly a positive result since rather than having people rediscover the wheel every time they want to sell something (and thus end up with many different programs offering basically the same functionality), you get people improving on what came before them; standing on the shoulders of giants and improving things for everyone that comes after them.

Another common argument to this point point that is brought is how people currently work: They build a program and try to sell it. by then pointing out that free software is gratis they assume that people will simply not build programs anymore. This is usually used in conjunction with games and to show why people don’t write free software games. This argument is simply taking the current system and asserting that this is the only way it can be. They ignore that the way people work is because of the way the rules of the game have been set which make one particular path,  “build and then sell”, as the most optimal to make money. But the rules of the game have not been set in stone and we can and should challenge them directly when they stop making sense.

If copyrights weren’t enforced on us from the dawn of IT, the current business models would not have built themselves around them. There would certainly be a demand for software and games and that would certainly have been fulfilled, only it would have been done in a different way. To take the way the software system has evolved because copyrights existed and assert that this is the only way it can ever work and the end of the world is nigh if we challenge this is simply absurd. Free Software proves this wrong.

Sure, the biggest software companies who are sucking at the tit of the state would suffer from it and possibly some programmers earning currently absurd salaries would have to scale down their demands to be in line with everyone else in the world, but everyone else would benefit. Better software for a fraction of the cost and a far wider tail for people to make a living on. The IT Profession would go nowhere as long as a demand for it exists.

In closing, one has to ponder how completely misaligned the ethical compass of scomeone can be, when they consider the voluntary act that thousands do for free – and for the benefit of everyone else – as something wrong, because it harms the greedy and for-profit acts of a few which are based on state violence and privilege and lead to a result where most can’t even possess the results. It shows how the way the system works can become so ingrained in the mentality of someone where they cannot even look externally at it and notice that if because of the way Capitalisms works a good act can be considered “bad” while a bad one becomes “good”, perhaps there is something inherently broken in the system itself.

UPDATE: Redditors have been providing some excellent arguments to support my point as well. Take a look.

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38 thoughts on “Does Free Software destroy the IT Profession?”

  1. "There are no rights that can be objectively justified; the justification of any right rests on the foundation of subjective values." — Agree. And this is why taking a real objective POV is (almost) not possible. Just because one is more objective than the rest it does not make his point of view objective as such. This man likes to forget.

    The thing about the starting premise is not besides the subject, it's just behind the subject I guess. It is the base for what "subject" is refered to. 😉 And yes – it better takes you long, for many thoughts and achieved wisdom is told shortly but to the fools. 😀 This is a complicated question, a short, but a complicated one.

    I would state that "freedom" is the natural state of being. Everything and everyone, if looked under the plain no-influence-everything-detached-view as he is in the beginning, he/it is free. And being free means having possibilities, ways to go, ideas to live and thoughts to have. Developing. Living. For non-development is non-living. Call it evolution, call it breath of life, I don't care, but apathy, stasis, decay and so on – are the opposite. And since all living wants to live and freedom is what grants life through (insert spectrum word here) development – freedom is as essential as life. So if freedom means nothing to some, it is easy to guess what a life means to them.

    Things are not right, not wrong. First of all – they ARE. What we make of them is strictly subjective and we should not have any illusion about it being "shared", "objective" or such. We just have to make with it what we think is best we can. I consider this freedom. And life.

    Just a couple of thoughts.. 😉 😛

  2. There's also a balance in the IT Profession of Paid vs. Free software. In my job as a network administrator, we use both free and paid software. It really comes down to "what does the job the best" not a matter of philosophy. Philosophy is for people with free time. If a piece of GPL'd software can do the job better than what MS or Apple or whoever is selling, then fine we use it. If not, we ring up the big boys and buy what we need.
    However, even among the larger players, software as a service is becoming more and more common, as it gives the companies a reliable revenue stream, as well as giving the end users regular updates, so its a win for both parties.

    1. Exactly. In fact I think companies are very short-sighted when they don't recognise how powerful free software can be when combined with internal supprort personel. Imagine coders customizing a piece of free software for the particular company and the reelasing this improvements into the ecosystem. Then the other companies can benefit from each other's work since they will all require internal support personel anyway. Further, they would not be held to the time-frames of the company selling them the software and their updates. They would not have to fit their business to the shell of the program they've bought.

      Free software in businesses is a win for all parties indeed and this is why do much FUD is slinged around. Companies like MS are scared shitless that people may wisen up and discard silly notions such as "nobody got fired for buying Microsoft" etc.

  3. Yes, farm machinery was detrimental to some farmers also. Especially the field labor hands, suddenly we didn't need so many of them. And suddenly the amount of food we could grow increased dramatically. A lot of folks then made the same argument as this one – progress means we'll lose jobs! No, progress means we increase production while creating new kinds of jobs. Tell your boss that some MBA on the internet says he should either reread his economics textbook, or take an economics class.

    1. Actually you example with the farm is unfortunate. Industrialized farming did not increase the number of food produced per acre, it increased the number of food produced per worker. The food-per-acre is equal or sometimes lower than labour-intensive processes and does far more damage to the ecosystem (meaning that future food production is harmed).

      Increasing the food per worker would be good of course, if that meant people could work less for more. Unfortunately it meant that people worked the same amount and some others were left without work.

      1. I realize that you're going to disown this sentiment, but here's a quote from Richard Stallman. And since you criticize me for not giving sources — which would have been impossible in my earlier comments thanks to the very short length limitation on comments in your blog; I was already editing down and had no space to spare for URLs — here's the URL:

        "If software were free, there would still be programmers, but perhaps fewer of them. Would this be bad for society? Not necessarily."

        You will, of course, go up in arms about how Stallman doesn't represent you on this — particularly since it directly counters your earlier article about how open source software makes more programmers — but see the comments I will post on your article about Stallman not being the messiah.

        1. In this quote you've provided, Stallman is making a prediction in the sense that sicne free software is increasing productivity, there will be less need to have as many programmers reinventing the wheel. In a functioning society (i.e. not capitalism) this would not be an issue since this would mean that programmers would be working less to fulfill the same demand. However you argument is that we should retain an inefficient SW production method because the system is so broken that increasing productivity is bad. And instead of criticising the system that would cause this, you criticise free software. This is what I mean about a completely skewed worldview.

  4. Sorry, tell your commenter. For some reason I had the canonical "PHB" image in my head. 🙂

  5. Wow, mischaracterizing my argument, putting words in my mouth, AND shifting the goalposts. What a post!

    1. My argument is not new by any means, although given your apparent ignorance of the history of the GPL I can believe that it is new to YOU.

    2. I don't for a moment believe that open-source initiatives can produce as good software as "any" commercial company. Nearly every open-source program you can name is either a direct ripoff of a commercial product, or started off as a commercial product and got open-sourced when the product failed for whatever reason. Linux? Copy of Minix, which was a copy of Unix. Firefox? Used to be Netscape Navigator — a commercial product. Started as StarOffice (commercial), got purchased and open-sourced in an explicit attempt to knock out Microsoft Office, whose GUI it shamelessly copies. GNOME and KDE? Do yourself a favor and put a default installation of GNOME next to a machine running Windows 95, and tell me the GUI isn't trying to copy something. All these carbon copy programs are necessarily behind the curve, and since they are usually following a moving target, they remain so. (GNOME or KDE still fail to be as user-friendly as the desktop environments of any of the last 3 versions of Windows or Mac OS X, for example. Although the whole decision to base modern window managers on X11 is a huge handicap — it would be like deciding you're going to build a modern, energy efficient, architecturally stunning house — using the remaining exterior walls of a burned-out Victorian house.)

    3. I did not say that independent software developers were dying — I said that they would die if they were stupid enough to release under GPL. Most of them aren't — and then I cited the lack of GPL games as evidence that small developers realize this.

    4. Redefining "profession" away from the definition it has had for centuries is not a good thing. If you don't mean that free coders are making money, then don't call them professionals. Be honest and use "hobbyist", or come up with some other word. You open-source people make up names all the time. How about "fliznert"? "I am an open-source fliznert" may not sound good, but then if you're using "The GIMP" you have no grounds to complain.

    5. I love the assumption that as long as someone, somewhere is making money from open-source software, then the industry is still alive and it has been proved that open-source is good for profits. In reality, there are many industries in which someone is making a profit, but where the industry as a whole is tremendously unhealthy. Desktop PCs? The manufacturers have undercut each other to the point where the margins are razor-thin (except for Apple, which is probably at the root of many of the anti-Apple tirades you see online), and as a result the new east asian companies, who have lower production costs for geographic reasons, are posing a serious threat. Office supplies: nearly all the small dealers are gone now, thanks to Office Max and Office Depot, who do fishy things with their financials, reneg on government contracts after undercutting any competition, and give awful service. Hell, even in just ordinary shopping, there are companies in trouble because they contracted with Walmart — look at Vlasic, who are feeling the squeeze because Walmart demands ever-lower prices from suppliers.

    6. "Because free software outperforms them for a lower cost"? No, I said because the GPL (if you use it on a product for which you expect to be paid) allows people to steal your work for free, which you have basically not mentioned in your rebuttal. (You turned it into a strawman claim that I thought nobody wanted free games, which is not true. People want free games. They also want free groceries, instant weight loss, sex with movie stars, and the ability to fly. So what?)

    7. "Becuase this is the main way people can make money out of coding via free software. They do not have to sell their code, they only have to sell their services as a coder." In other words: if you have an idea for a new program, forget trying to code it yourself and getting to be paid for your idea and your work on it. Instead, go find some pig company which has money to spare, and do what they want. Heck, in the very next two sentences, you say that it would actually be an improvement if small developers all went away and worked for pre-existing big open-source projects with corporate backing! I thought you GPL people claimed that the GPL encouraged innovation, but clearly that's just a lie, since the big corporate-backed open source projects are almost entirely free of innovation.

    8. Way to use an ad hominem strawman at the end there, bucko. Trying to paint me as some sort of monster because you don't like my argument, so that you can then dismiss me, is piss-poor argumentation. I'm willing to bet that you'll tell me you have already refuted my arguments, even though you haven't actually touched on them.

    1. 7. You're a twisty one aren't you? No, independent software development would not stop. It's simply that those doing it independently would be sponsored or tasked for this project beforehand. I like how you present the current ecosystem, full of corporations and bureaucracy, where the biggest game CEO (Activision-Blizzard) has the gall to say that his purpose is to make game design "not-fun", as if it's a wonderful paradise where everyone can program without a boss over their head…or something.

      This is all patently untrue. In fact, it is in the free software ecosystem and the ability for people to truly own their programs (as opposed to merely licensing them) that allows people to stay as independent developers.

      1. 7. Which means that anything big companies would not see a profit in — or would not see sufficient profit in — would not happen. There is very good reason to suspect this is the case: in categories of software in which there is a major entrenched player, there are no viable alternatives being pushed by corporations. Where's Microsoft or Apple's equivalent to Adobe Photoshop? Where is Apple or Adobe's equivalent to Microsoft Office? There's a lot of money to be made out there by developing an alternative to Photoshop, or even Photoshop Elements, and offering it at a slightly lower cost than Adobe's inflated prices. So why aren't any big corporations doing it? There are some alternatives to Photoshop Elements — and they're made by little small groups who try to recoup their investment by selling the software. And they are sometimes successful at doing it, too!

        (Well, okay, there's Apple's iWork. I use it myself when I'm on a Mac. But I don't delude myself into believing it is a substitute for a full version of Office. Aside from having no database component, like OpenOffice it is missing all the advanced features that you start to need the minute you're doing more than writing a letter to your aunt or doing a few quick calculations in a spreadsheet. I once wrote a 40-page document for the local government in OpenOffice 3.1 — my choice, not theirs; they wanted Microsoft Office — and it was horribly cumbersome even though I wasn't doing anything particularly difficult. Features I could have used — and have used on other programs — didn't exist, features which did exist had bizarre inaccessible interfaces, formatting was buggy as heck, the useful toolbar options were crowded out by things I don't believe anyone would ever want on a toolbar, and several of the relevant default settings were the opposite of what you would expect.)

        1. The reason why MS is not moving to particular areas of SW is that they do not want to. Perhaps this is because they have simply no interest in it, perhaps they perceive they do not have enough funds to achieve it. But when they did want to, they managed to muscle themselves in, no matter how entrenched the opposition. MS Office and Active Directory come to mind and the underhanded ways by which they achieved dominance.

          As for the point that whatever huga companies did not see a profit in would not happen I have to ask…are you living in this world? Free Software is KNOWN for making things happen for which big companies saw no profit in. In fact, Free software is the perfect for breaking into markets where there is an entrentched player.

          As for you putting down Open Office, I have to disagree. From my experience, for anything but the most advanced and MS-Office related tasks it does the job perfectly.

    2. 8. I don't paint you as a monster. I merely point out how skewed your perpective must be to consider voluntary co-operation to provide a solution to people who can't afford the alternatives or won't tolerate the lack of freedom, as something bad. For our next encounter, I suggest you learn what an ad hominem is and how it works.

      1. 8. Oh, so it's a valid debate method if I stop responding to your actual points and instead start wondering aloud what your motivation is for trying to kill off all the small developers in favor of big projects dominated by large corporations? I wonder if maybe you have an axe to grind, or are maybe being paid to grind an axe — I'm sure Google wants some positive publicity in the open-source world, now that the Linux kernel team is complaining about Android forking their code and being "creative" with it to the extent of having an incompatible driver model. (That's strange, I thought the whole point of open source was the ability to fork someone else's work when you needed to do so.) (Oh, and since you're so hot on citations all of a sudden:… )

        1. nstead start wondering aloud what your motivation is for trying to kill off all the small developers in favor of big projects dominated by large corporations?

          You already implied that. You even said it explicitly for Stallman and the GPL.

          In any case, you can ponder aloud all you wish, but please take it to your own blog.

    3. My my my, we can't take public criticism can we?

      1. It's new on this blog.

      2. All software is "ripping off" its predecesors. Much like all music is "ripping off" the musicians that came before them. MS "ripped off" MS-DOS and Windows. Apple "ripped off" Xerox. To bring this as some kind of argument is simply pathetic and showing how little you understand how innovation and creativity works. The idea is that the apps of GNU/Linux can do the same tasks as good or even better than many proprietary stuff. You may whine all you want about how much you don't like them yourself. but then again, we have already surmised that you have an axe to grind.

      1. I am willing to take public criticism — if and only if the criticism is actually of me, and not of a strawman very loosely based on me and full of inaccuracies.

        1. Okay, I'll give you that one.

        2. Making as close to a carbon copy as can be managed of someone else's work, without crediting them or paying them, is not creativity. The examples you give in software are interesting ones, because they actually go against your point: MS-DOS was something Microsoft quickly licensed — as in "paid for" — and rebranded (it started off as QDOS) and later bought outright. Microsoft was sued over Windows, and only got away without paying because Apple had allowed a poorly-worded legal agreement to go through, and Apple not only paid Xerox for the right to use anything they saw at PARC, but introduced a lot of innovation at the same time. (Xerox, for example, never did real overlapping windows.) So, basically, out of your three examples, two were paid business transactions and one would have been illegal if Apple hadn't been careless.

        And as for "as good or even better": it simply isn't true. Linux regularly breaks third party drivers, many distros (notably Ubuntu, but others as well) regularly break their sound stacks, none of them have a GUI control to change bit depth (which is a critical issue on the older hardware Linux claims to be better at supporting than Windows). All of those issues are quite basic to ordinary users, and have been dealt with quite effectively on other platforms, but Linux not only does not fix them, but has no plan to fix them. OpenOffice has basically no features which aren't in Microsoft Office (the few it can claim tend to be Linux-specific, which is a dead issue given that Microsoft Office doesn't run on Linux — it would be like criticizing Ubuntu for not supporting AppleScript), and Firefox 3.x has a worse security record than IE7, IE8, or Safari in terms of sheer number of reported security flaws, while doing a poorer job of rendering HTML correctly than either Safari or Opera. And, as is rather famously true, Firefox actually runs measurably faster on Windows than on open-source Linux — if open-source software is so superior, shouldn't it be faster when running cross-platform software, not slower?

        1. I am willing to take public criticism — if and only if the criticism is actually of me, and not of a strawman very loosely based on me and full of inaccuracies.

          I suggest you follow your own advice on your own criticism.

    4. 6. My gawd, for someone who insist on using the "right definitions" you seem to be pretty lax in your use of "steal". As for the games, you mentioned that nobody would write games if state protection didn't exist and use as proof of this what is currently happening. I countered that of course people would use the currently state-provided monopolies to make a profit. But this does not mean that if those monopolies went away, games would stop being made.

      So, way to go to miss the point.

      1. 6. If you have done all the work of developing a program with the expectation that I will be reimbursed by the users, then ethically I am stealing if I take a copy and give it to other people for free. I just looked it up in the dictionary. Definition 2 of 5 is "pass off another's work as one's own." Use a dictionary sometime before you tell other people they aren't using words properly.

        Oh, and by the way: "this does not mean that if those monopolies went away, games would stop being made". No duh. People plainly do write games which are open source. They all tend to be small (like the card and board games which show up in Linux distros) or storyless 3D games (which usually use outdated 3D stuff, like Tux Racer). But just because there are open-source games does not mean that universal open source would continue to give us the sorts of games we currently expect. (In other words: "this does not mean that if monopolies went away, games would continue to be made.") Where's the open source equivalent to the Final Fantasy series? Why is there no open source equivalent to Mario Kart? (Yes, I know there's Tux Racer. Have you looked at any even moderately recent Mario Kart game? Even the cruddy, 10-polygons-per-kart DS version beats Tux Racer in terms of both quality of experience and variety.)

        1. 6. Just because you did something with the expectation of being paid, doesn't mean you deserve to be or that you deserve to enforce rules (i.e. copyrights) to others so that you are. Not anymore than me making mudpies and then having the state ban the use of regular pies.

          Also, your dictionary seems to be broken.

        2. Where's the open source equivalent to the Final Fantasy series?

          if there's a demand for higher quality games, people will find a way to fund production to make them. You can't take the current paradigm which artificially favours a specific production method and assert that if the artificial means went away, people would not fulfil the demand. It would simply be done in a different way.

  6. 3. In regards to the argument you made this is the same thing. It's also wrong.

    4. Many free software coders are making money. Ergo, software development will exist as a profession as long as new software apps and feature have a demand.

    5. The fact that Desktop or Office providers have consolidated does not make them any less of an industry. Likewise, the fact that software developers may decentralize via free software will not make software development any less of an industry.

    1. 3. Prove it. Don't just say "that's wrong". Cite an example of a company releasing GPL games and making a profit on it, for example. If not, you're just being dishonest… again.

      4. Well, possibly, but at the cost (if GPL were to be more widespread) of the loss of an entire class of programmers. It's funny how it's okay for you to just declare that "the world is going to be this way, and anyone who resists is wrong and doomed to failure", but you get all upset by intellectual property laws — which are demonstrably a successful way to run things, or by the fact that most people don't want to use what is usually demonstrably inferior software — even for free! — just because it is open source. You sound like a Communist from the early 1900s. "The economic status quo is doomed to failure! The People's Army shall sweep all of this away, and you bourgeois capitalists will be purged!"

      5. Ah, moving the goal posts again. Did I say they weren't industries? I just said they were terribly unhealthy industries, and that the people making money aren't doing anything admirable to do it. There is no guarantee that the path followed by those industries would work for software development, that those industries won't undergo some sort of implosion (Dell, Office Max, and Office Depot are not looking as healthy as one would expect for companies which have dominated their industries — it's because of the low margins, basically), or that we should be cheering them along. Basically: low margins are a part of yet another race to the bottom. (See Wikipedia's entry on "race to the bottom"; it's pretty good.)

      1. 5. I'd say that the Free Software is a terribly healthy industry, if by "industry" we mean the process by which new products (i.e. software) is being produced.

        You of course try to compare it with consolidated capitalist businesses flailing in a collapsing capitalist system which is nothing more than a shaky argument from correlation and a weak metaphor to boot. The race to the bottom you rave against is a feature of capitalism, not free software.

      2. 3. Look who's talking…

        Also you're strawmanning. My point is not proven by a company making a profit from a GPL game but from the opposite since my point is that people are using the state-granted monopolies since they're more profitable. This doesn't mean however that games would stop being made if copyrights didn't exist or that people wouldn't discover a way to make a profit from giving away games for free. Many are doing it already.

      3. 4. Sorry but the IP laws are not a "demonstrably a successful way to run things". Quite the opposite. Nor is it a fact that GPL would lose an entire class of programmers.

        Seriously, it seems that you're not even making the effort to argue anymore.

  7. In short, you sound like a collectivist. I’m a passionate capitalist. Your post reads like you believe that you're entitled to my software products and that I should/will be satisfied with building them and giving them away for free (at my expense) while [hopefully] receiving a "fair" and modest service free to maintain them. I understand your point of view, but I fear that you don't understand mine. I simply don't work this way; neither psychologically nor economically. As a developer I know my time and skills are valuable and I use both to feed my family and support my dependants. Without this possibility I have no incentive to develop software. This is why I contribute relatively little to FOSS. I simply can't afford to do so without subsidy and accepting subsidy violates my ethical code. I'm no beggar. This post doesn’t even come close to fully explaining my philosophy; I hope it does give you an idea of what the other side of the argument is thinking. We are currently seeing proprietary and FOSS software peacefully coexist because each has great value to various aspects of the world’s software market, which is HUGE. This market is not a zero sum game. Damaging one proprietary in favor of FOSS or FOSS in favor of proprietary always results in unnecessary loss.

    1. I probably understand your worldview more than you understand mine. You sound like a Randian, Austrian, or some other variant of pro-Capitalism.

      However I have to ask, if you think that developing code for a contract as an independent coder is "begging" why do you accept that most people in the world have to work for such a contract under wage-slavery conditions?

      Unfortunately you're privileged enough to be able to use state-granted monopolies to make a living. Most people can't. If your time and skills are valuable, then they will be valuable under a FOSS ecosystem as well. If you don't want to ever follow the demands of third parties, then I suggest you reconsider your support for capitalism which dooms the largest amount of people to exactly that fate, in far worse degrees.

  8. Of course something is wrong with the way we're doign things right now. This is very clear when you see people that is hungry, not because there's not enought food but because they can't aford it. And the food producers are paid to produce less or destroy food so that someone can get more profit.

    The internet, free software, creative commons and other initiatives are showing us a better way to do things, we just have to apply those same principles in other directions. Check out the Venus Project to see how this could be done:

  9. Copyrights were not created on us from the starting of IT, the existing business models would not have developed themselves around them. There would certainly be a need for application and actions and that would certainly have been fulfilled, only it would have been done in a different way. To take the way the application program has developed because copyrights continued and state that this is the only way it can ever operate and the end on the earth is nigh if we process this is merely outrageous. No price Software ensures this wrong.

  10. As a developer I know my time and skills are valuable and I use both to feed my family and support my dependants. Without this possibility I have no incentive to develop software.

  11. Yes it really effect on it profession because now in the internet world every one want shortcut to create any such things so that they divert to software and sometime it create some problem. so according to me free software effect on it profession.

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