> Companies have to make money somehow

I'm pretty sure they meant free as in freedom, not price. When we say "free software", people sometimes think that we mean that the software must be free of charge, which is not true. When we say "free", we mean that the software respects user's four basic freedoms: To use it, study it, modify it and share it. I support using the term "libre software", to avoid confusion.

> should *all products* be free?

That's an entirely different matter. I personally don't think it's a good idea and don't support it. Software needs to be libre because it's software, but it doesn't have to be free of cost. Non-software, obviously, doesn't have to be free of cost, nor libre.

> If you could explain why it would, that would be great.

I can see that making money from libre software might be different from proprietary software. But there are companies that do it and show that it's possible. For reference, the company "Red Hat", or the libre, yet commercial game "Sleep is Death".

> By making all software free, you're paying personal data instead of cash.

Sorry, but could you please elaborate? I don't see how libre software would be dangerous to users' privacy. On the contrary, you can never be sure what exactly is proprietary software doing, therefore you can't be sure that it doesn't collect data from you. Libre software is also open source, which means that anyone can check the code to make sure it doesn't do anything bad.

> I'm willing to pay for good products, and anyone else concerned about privacy probably should be too.

I would also be willing to pay for good products. If a program is libre, I'm still willing to pay for it, because I appreciate the developers' work.
posted by Tirifto 3 years and 9 months ago Link

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posted by <hidden> • 3 years and 9 months ago
> I meant free as in money, not free as in "libre".

Ah, yes. While some cases like that exist, I believe it's surely not a rule. A lot of libre and free of cost sofwtare is also very secure and respects your privacy. (I say libre because libre can be verified, but some proprietary free of cost software might also respect your privacy.)

Perhaps you refer to companies like Google, who don't charge you for their services, but track your every step in return. DuckDuckGo is a good example of company that gives you a gratis service, but still respect your privacy.

Of course, values like freedom and privacy come first. If someone provides a safe service for free, that's great! But if they can't afford to make it gratis without sacrificing freedom or privacy, it's better if they make it commercial and keep it moral. Perhaps I should learn to express myself more briefly, though.
posted by Tirifto 3 years and 9 months ago Link