Understanding the Ethics of FOSS

Here’s another ethical question to consider when you invest in your next tech item. Do you want to buy something based on its apparent hype, or invest in something just as if not more usable and ethical?

Will you continue to buy from Apple despite their zealousness in locking down what you can do with the products you buy from them? Not to mention the spate of patent lawsuits which can only be classified as international-level douchebaggery.

Alternative to Apple? Any other PC manufacturer that allows you to modify your product legally.

Will you still use products from Microsoft knowing that they have an excellent track record of sabotaging competing community-created free alternatives and charging hardware manufacturers a few dollars of royalty (USD 5 in this instance) for each Android device sold?

Alternative to Microsoft Office, and Android when basically Microsoft is subsidising their Windows Phone with Android royalties? LibreOffice and a small smattering of potential phones operating systems.

Do you still use Facebook to catalogue everything in your life despite widespread coverage of the many ways your personal life is being exploited for profit? Facebook may be free, but you are certainly paying a greater price than you imagine. Primary reason why the only extent of my activities on Facebook are posting things I want to be publicly known, like links to this blog, and comments on posts by friends – is the now outdated notion that data privacy equates to personal privacy.

Alternative to Facebook? Join me on Diaspora.

These are serious questions to ponder, and the choices you make, do reflect the person you are. And in this instance, Dan Gillmor has succeeded where many have failed by recognising the way his purchasing patterns support unethical business practices, and changing them to the maximum extent possible.

If perchance you wish to make the switch to be a more ethical tech consumer, do get in touch and I’d be glad to help you for free, if you join me on Diaspora.