Proprietary Software Is Often Malware
Proprietary software, also called nonfree software,
means software that doesn't
respect users' freedom and
community. This means that
its developer or owner has power over its users.
This power is itself an injustice.
The point of this page is that the initial injustice of proprietary
software often leads to further injustices: malicious
Power corrupts, so the proprietary program's developer is tempted
to design the program to mistreat its users—that is, to make
it malware. (Malware means software whose functioning
mistreats the user.) Of course, the developer usually does not do
this out of malice, but rather to put the users at a disadvantage.
That does not make it any less nasty or more legitimate.
Yielding to that temptation has become ever more frequent; nowadays
it is standard practice. Modern proprietary software is software for
Users of proprietary software are defenseless against these forms
of mistreatment. The way to avoid them is by insisting on
(freedom-respecting) software. Since free software is controlled
by its users, they have a pretty good defense against malicious