The great enemy

So, today I got an interesting discussion with a friend of mine about Apple retiring the efforts of open sourcing their kernels, after all the work that was done to crack Mac OSX’s kernel to run it on non-Apple hardware.

I think many people does not see the things from the right prospective. Most of people think that the greatest enemy of Free Software is proprietary software. In truth this is plainly wrong. Free and Proprietary software are antithesis, but they don’t actually pose a threat each other (when the software is well written, that is – if Free Software is a threat to Microsoft, it’s probably their fault). The actual threat of proprietary software is for its users, as they are the ones enslaved by the licenses.

The actual enemy, the threat for Free Software development, is software piracy, especially versus the proprietary software. Why this? Because most of the users plainly don’t care about licenses, they never respected one in their life, if they want something they download it from “warez sitez” and just use it, caring zero about the license and the costs.

But if piracy wasn’t so much widespread, it would be different. People wouldn’t have available all the software they need bypassing licensing, then users would have more thinking about the licensing terms, and they would probably be more interested in use of Free Software.

In the case in exam, if people don’t want to use Windows, but they would rather use a cracked MacOSX, then it’s users lost for Free Software; if they instead had no way to use a cracked MacOSX, they won’t buy an Apple, and they don’t want to use Windows, well then they are more likely to use Free Software.

So, stop the whining about “Apple has so many money they are just spoiling the fun”, and rather supports their decision about not accepting piracy, and propose to pirates to rather use equivalent Free Software; at the end, they won’t have support as they don’t pay for it anyway for the cracked software, and they don’t get pretty printed manuals.