Ubuntu Featured on Wikipedia August 7, 2006Posted by Carthik in commentary, news, ubuntu.
WorldChanging is a forward looking, optimistic weblog that I read regularly, and it was on WorldChanging that I first read about the Ubuntu wikipedia article being the featured article on August 5th, displayed prominently on the front page of Wikipedia. Congratulations to Ubuntu! Seeing a post entitled “Ubuntu” on World Changing was a nice surprise, but I guess it is obvious that Ubuntu can be World Changing.
The WorldChanging article on Ubuntu mentions a post that questions whether free software is really such a good deal for Africa (Ethiopia in particular). The point he makes is:
But this assumes that the choice for African computer users is between expensive proprietary software and free opensource software. The reality is that they have a third choice – cracked, pirated proprietary software.
He then goes on to quote ridiculously cheap prices in the the Ethiopian market for cracked and pirated software.
This so wrong, on so many levels. The “free” is not just related to the price, it has more to do with a liberating, enriching, world changing feeling. Doing the right thing, or sticking with the underdog is never easy.
…principled positions are sometimes inconvenient. Free software is no exception. It’s frequently different, sometimes incompatible and a bit more work. In some situations (dare I say it?), it’s not as good as the proprietary alternatives.
It might be inconvenient in the short term, but the long term benefits and a nation free of the guilt of using pirated software is well worth the short term inconveniences.