Tag Archives: Proprietary software

Free Software, Public Domain and Digital Commons (continuation)

Richard Stallman’s dismisses proprietary software for a good reason but his recommendations are only followed by ICT experts. Let us have a closer look.

Professional software versus software for the masses

The market share for operating systems for desktop computers of MS Windows is actually 91,2%. Apple has 5,27% while GNU like systems take only 3,61% . Apple OS and Android dominate mobile devices, with 47,06% for Android, 43,83% for Apple and only 2,38 for MSWindows. Though Android is a GNU like system it isn’t free software as to Richard Stallman:

Google has complied with the requirements of the GNU General Public License for Linux, but the Apache license on the rest of Android does not require source release. Google said it would never publish the source code of Android 3.0 (aside from Linux). Android 3.1 source code was also withheld, making Android 3, apart from Linux, nonfree software pure and simple.

So  strictly there is no relevant1 free software for smart-phones. Even the OS of the Fairphone is based on Google’s Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Fairphone_back_inside_sim_slots_03 The market share of public servers, web-servers and firewall systems shows a quite different picture. Web-servers use Linux for 38.6% and only for 32,6% MSWindows. When security is involved Linux is used for 58-78% while only 18-38% MSWindows. Continue reading Free Software, Public Domain and Digital Commons (continuation)

Free Software, Public Domain and Digital Commons

Since fuzziness and mythology are the ubiquitous ingredients of internet content we need solid definitions. The Free Software Foundation defines free software as follows:

“A program is free software if the program’s users have the four essential freedoms:

  • The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
  • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.



Richard Stallman  is the initiator of free software movement since 1983 and the writer of the GNU licence. He is also an experienced software developer. Stallman explains that proprietary software, the commercial software used on home computers and smart phones, like MacOS, MSWindows, Itunes, Facebook, Amazon is often malware.

Proprietary software is often malware

Continue reading Free Software, Public Domain and Digital Commons