Imagine a developer has a useful idea for a program. She could:

1) Forget about it
2) Develop it for personal use only
3) Release it as proprietary software
4) Release it as proprietary software, monetized through malware/tracking
5) Release it as

Here's how I'd rate the ethics of those choices:
1) fine
2) Selfish, but fine
3) A little bit good
4) Morally wrong
5) Morally good

Many FOSS folks say:
1) fine
2) fine
3) wrong
4) wrong
5) good

What's the argument for 3 being worse than 2?

@codesections there's nothing ethically wrong with "honest" proprietary software. The only problem is users usually don't know whether proprietary software is honest or not.

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@InternetKevin
> there's nothing ethically wrong with "honest" proprietary software. The only problem is users usually don't know whether proprietary software is honest or not.

That's my view as well. But some (many?) advocates (e.g., ) seem to feel that proprietary software is per se harmful. They point out that "proprietary software is *often* malware", but argue that non-malware proprietary software is still wrong.

And that last view is the one I don't quite understand.

@codesections @InternetKevin I'm pretty far on the free software scale. I don't think 3 is worse than 2. In fact, I don't judge the developer in this case. I judge the user for using proprietary software. Especailly when there's a free option. There almost always is these days.

Me? I'm still battling to be better but the drm is still on my back.

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