Comment of the Week: Free Is Great, But People Need to Eat
Richard Stallman, founder of the GNU Project, recently spoke out against Valve’s plans to bring Linux to Steam, going so far as to claim the digital distribution platform to be “unethical.” Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up; he actually said:
“Nonfree game programs (like other nonfree programs) are unethical because they deny freedom to their users.”
Our comment of the week comes from Peggle20, who offers a sobering reality to this idealist:
“I’m sure all passionate developers would love to provide their games for free if there wasn’t this tiresome need to buy food and pay rent that exists in today’s society. For those of us not mooching off of parents’ largesse, charging for creative work is an unfortunate necessity.
“You know what else constrains “freedom” in the sense the guy seems to be using it in? Having to pay for computer parts to run Linux on. Or having to pay for electricity to run your computer once you’ve scavenged enough parts out of the trash. If you extend his argument, it conjures the image of hardcore ethical Linux users being feral hobos running jalopy systems off of bicycle generators. Like everything involved in participating in the computerin’ subculture, even the Linux sect, paying for software discriminates against the poor.”
Well said, Peggle20. That image of a jury-rigged computer cracked me up.