Ariel Costas

Proprietary software and people who defend it

By Ariel Costas - October 02, 2021

There’s something incredible in the modern age: people defending the use of proprietary software, its bad practices and how it mistreats its users in many ways like including tracking malware.

Let’s analyze the definition of Stockholm syndrome in Wikipedia, and compare it with proprietary software and how it holds hostage their «users».

Stockholm syndrome is a condition in which hostages develop a psychological bond with their captors during captivity. Stockholm Syndrome results from a rather specific set of circumstances, namely the power imbalances contained in hostage-taking, kidnapping, and abusive relationships.

— Wikipedia: Stockholm Syndrome

Replace captors with proprietary programs and hostages as computer users. How many times have you heard things like

Don’t you see a pattern here? People legitimate the usage of proprietary software (or even worse, disservices) because they think of the proprietors like actual people that need their money to live and do the programs in ways that protect their users.

Meanwhile, GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft) are multibillion companies that live of holding their clients hostage of their computers. Google learns from you and shows you ads, Apple blocks you from doing what you want with your cell phone1, Facebook creates addiction and mental health problems, Amazon creates digital jails like the Swindle 2 and Microsoft created Windows, Internet Explorer and others, which deserve their own article.

So, basically, those people are defending those that keep them hostages of their company, because they don’t have the essential freedoms: to run it, study it, share copies and distribute modified versions. And yet they defend them! When they are being abused!

Don’t let proprietary software take you hostage of your own computer, don’t give away your data and freedom so easily, because when you really need it, it will be too late to get it back.

Happy hacking.

  1. I don’t call them mobile phones, I think the fact they are digital cells (like those in prisons) is more important ↩︎

  2. Also known as the Kindle, but it’s a swindle of your freedom and privacy ↩︎