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GitHub - fommil/copywrong: list of free software that is now proprietary
Free / Libre Software Made Proprietary by its Copyright Holders
This is a list of software that was
free / libre software and is
When free / libre software becomes proprietary it means that you, as a user of
the software, no longer have all four essential freedoms to:
- run the program as you wish, for any purpose.
- study how the program works, and change it.
- redistribute copies.
- distribute copies of your modified versions to others.
Additionally, if you are a user of free / libre software that has become
proprietary, you are now in a supplier lock-in and may be facing further
usage restrictions, the risk of viruses / spyware, as well as large fees
to your supplier.
There are two legal ways that free / libre software can become proprietary:
- the copyright holders release a new version of the software using a
license that is not a free / libre software license.
- the original software license wasnt
copyleft, and some entity later
distributes a modified version of the software under a proprietary
This list is concerned with the first case.
How can I help?
Luckily, there are several ways that you can help.
- Do not assign copyright of your free / libre software contributions to a
third party until you have read the FSF guide to
copyright and are comfortable with the situation.
- When you come across another case of free / libre software that has
become proprietary, send an email to email@example.com to get
the item added to this list. Also, inform your community of the
danger they are facing if they continue to use the software.
- Create a fork of the software from the last point at which it was
free / libre software. Make all your changes using a copyleft license, so
that your changes can not be used in a proprietary distribution.
Trust that developers will prefer your fork, even if the
proprietary version may have more features in the short term.
Continue reading on github.com