Why I only recommend free software
"With software, either the users control the program (free software) or the program controls the users (proprietary or nonfree software)." - Richard Stallman
Note: When I say "free software", I refer to freedom, not price.
First off, my nature as a programmer seems to be the reason, but you guess not. Regular users should be concerned about software freedom before powerusers and hackers!
- In the beginning, all software was essentially free. That's the way it should be. But for some reason, some people started to introduce a new concept of software development: software property, copyrighted binaries and later "software patents", leading proprietary software into existence.
- All software that ever existed (with zero exceptions) has started as free software, but then it's up to the developer to turn it nonfree (unethical conduct) or keep it free.
- While the free software movement and the open source camp still do not agree on a mutual word to describe the good type of software (i.e. free software vs. open source software), they certainly agree upon a word that descibes the bad type of software (i.e. proprietary). And that has much to say how the two camps are essentially fighting the same enemy.