Is it acceptable to use proprietary software (platforms) to promote software freedom?

Paul Boddie paul at
Mon Aug 21 13:28:45 UTC 2017

On Monday 21. August 2017 13.51.49 Adonay Felipe Nogueira wrote:
> I think you mean "private software" which is only used by yorself, and
> not shared to anyone, not even co-workers. Once you share it at least
> with someone, it ought to be free/libre because it's no longer
> "private".

Sorry, are you replying to my message? Please use quoting to preserve context.

If you were replying to me, I would say that I agree that people should also 
give others the same freedoms to modify and propagate the software. However, 
if Mat should fail to do so here, it would be a private matter between him and 
his daughter.

(I once got trolled by someone about this kind of thing who seemed to want me 
to state that because I advocate copyleft licensing then I must be seeking to 
somehow "criminalise" people who fail to provide sources in situations similar 
to this one. But notions like common sense and distinctions between ignorance, 
negligence and malice should be allowed to prevail.)

> Also, I disagree in the statement that Facebook can simply be considered
> only a user of private software, and on the argument that Facebook
> doesn't expect the user/visitor/guest to use non-free software. In fact,
> Facebook does expect that, see the JavaScript trap, which is
> *client-side* software, but provided *by the website*:
> [[]].

Yes, Facebook serves non-free JavaScript as does most of the Internet. I would 
rather not run most people's JavaScript, nor dial out to their tracking 
servers. I don't remember making arguments about Facebook's lack of coercion, 
however, so perhaps you were replying to Mat here.


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