Why free software can result in less freedom

Before delving into this mess it needs to be made clear how i personally define free software, which in my mind is software for which the source code is available, reusable, modifiable and distributable by anyone. Free software has no inherent connection to monetization, though one can certainly profit in various ways from it if they so choose.

There is an ethic attached to free software which extends well beyond digital goods. I see it as more of a life choice with a strong emphasis on personal freedom. The problem with liberal software licenses, such as the GPL, is that while the ethic may be superimposed, freedom is disregarded, even if unintentionally so.

If one wants to achieve freedom, then i think it is utterly counterproductive to license software in such a way as to allow those not attuned to freedom to use and profit from it. 'Big Tech' companies such as Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook, Oracle, Cisco, Apple, as well as the alphabet soup of government agencies, are actively working to curtail personal freedom through narrow-minded corporate and authoritarian mentalities, and all of them use free software in some capacity because there are few or no restrictions with liberal software licenses. With its purchase of GitHub, Microsoft is perhaps one of the more egregious examples of how free software is being used -- or rather abused -- for the purpose of training proprietary Artificial Intelligence algorithms which will undoubtedly be used to further curtail freedom.

I think the Linux kernel is a stellar example of how liberally licensed software has come around to bite it in the ass. My understanding is that the majority of the code that's injected into the kernel nowadays is written by major corporations and while that code may be beneficial for a majority, it is also beneficial to entities which care about freedom far less than profiting from their code at the expense of us all.

Another benefit of not allowing unethical, for-profit companies to use your software is that this can help steer people away from proprietary computer operating systems. For example, if a developer produces a widely popular software, such as Thunderbird or VLC for example, and it's licensed only for open source operating systems, those wanting to use such programs might be more likely to consider abandoning their proprietary operating system.

Simply put, if you want freedom, then stop feeding those working to enslave you.

Personally i've started using the Non-Profit Open Software License for my little projects and, while that's a start, it doesn't achieve all i'd like it to and so i may write my own license at some point. In a better world virtually all software would be inherently free for everyone and software licenses, liberal or otherwise, wouldn't need to exist, however that is not the world we live in.

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