Some thoughts on the ‘free’ software

I want to be the first person to say that programmers have to eat too. And live somewhere, and obviously have electricity. Driving a car is a plus for most people as well. Then you have to consider all the devices and software they need to do their job. You are talking around 2000 dollars a month minimum to do all these things with enough breathing room so the person doesn’t have to live on food stamps. Pile in all the forum fees, coffee, beer, social life and what not as well and you begin to realize that free software has a price.

Some people code for the fun of it and release of their software open source. I get that and if they wish to do it, it is their perogative, but the development isn’t free. It took money to develop it. Which is why I get so irate at people who is think that they should be able to get software for free, almost as though they are entitled. Nothing is further from the truth, and if someone comes out with free software then you should be very grateful if you get your hands on it.

Unfortunately most people are so used to warez and free clients that they see nothing wrong with becoming thieves or being rude on support forums, or both. I shudder at the thought process of someone who simply expects the world to stop moving and deliver whatever they want at the drop of a hat, as though existence was planned out for them. And pay nothing, plus gripe about bugs on top of that.

There are many software models that display ads, but if you remove the ads with blockers then you are effectively stealing. There is no sense in removing ads from a service you don’t pay for, but so many people have browser plugins that remove banner ads and flash animation that you begin to wonder if the majority of surfers on your content even see your revenue generation stream.

I won’t go into people who warez much except to say that people like you are the reason my bike gets stolen. That’s what you are, a common criminal who should be taken off the streets and put behind bars. For every program made, developers have to assume their work will be pirated to some extent, and every copy pirated is money out of the pocket of the creators of your new favorite app. You don’t care, you don’t want to care, so to the dogs with you.

On the other side of things, developers should be aware that there is a karmic process in life, if you are using stolen software to create your masterpiece, you can safely assume your masterpiece will be pirated. You can’t escape divine law. When you code with stolen software, even if you don’t charge for your work you have incurred negative karma on yourself and yourself, having stolen from someone, their children, family, company, and can expect to be held accountable for this theft at some point.

Please, everyone, take the time to realize that while money doesn’t make the world turn, it does feed, clothe, and shelter us in very real ways. Make the effort to pay for your software, it is the right thing to do.


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