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<title>Proprietary Software
- GNU Project - Free Software Foundation</title>
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<h2>Proprietary Software Is Often Malware</h2>

<p>Proprietary software, also called nonfree software,
means software that doesn't
<a href="/philosophy/free-sw.html">respect users' freedom and
community</a>.  A proprietary program puts its developer or owner
<a href="/philosophy/free-software-even-more-important.html">
in a position of power over its users.</a>
This power is in itself an injustice.</p>

<p>The point of this page is that the initial injustice of proprietary
software often leads to further injustices: malicious
functionalities.</p>

<p>Power corrupts; the proprietary program's developer is tempted to
design the program to mistreat its users.  (Software whose functioning
mistreats the user is called <em>malware</em>.)  Of course, the
developer usually does not do this out of malice, but rather to profit
more at the users' expense.  That does not make it any less nasty or
more legitimate.</p>

<p>Yielding to that temptation has become ever more frequent; nowadays
it is standard practice.  Modern proprietary software is typically
a way to be had.</p>

<p>As of April, 2017, the files in this directory list around 300
instances of malicious functionalities, but there are surely thousands
more we don't know about.</p>

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<h3>Company or type of product</h3>
<ul>
  <li><a href="/proprietary/malware-apple.html">Apple Malware</a></li>
  <li><a href="/proprietary/malware-microsoft.html">Microsoft Malware</a></li>
  <li><a href="/proprietary/malware-google.html">Google Malware</a></li>
  <li><a href="/proprietary/malware-adobe.html">Adobe Malware</a></li>
  <li><a href="/proprietary/malware-amazon.html">Amazon Malware</a></li>
  <li><a href="/proprietary/malware-webpages.html">Malware in webpages</a></li>
  <li><a href="/proprietary/malware-phones.html">Malware in phones</a></li>
  <li><a href="/proprietary/malware-mobiles.html">Malware in mobile devices</a></li>
  <li><a href="/proprietary/malware-games.html">Malware in games</a></li>
  <li><a href="/proprietary/malware-appliances.html">Malware in appliances</a></li>
</ul>
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<h3>Type of malware</h3>
<ul>
<li><a href="/proprietary/proprietary-back-doors.html">Back doors</a></li>
<li><a href="/proprietary/proprietary-censorship.html">Censorship</a></li>
<li><a href="/proprietary/proprietary-coverups.html">Coverups</a></li>
<li><a href="/proprietary/proprietary-deception.html">Deception</a></li>
<li><a href="/proprietary/proprietary-insecurity.html">Insecurity</a></li>
<li><a href="/proprietary/proprietary-sabotage.html">Sabotage</a></li>
<li><a href="/proprietary/proprietary-interference.html">Interference</a></li>
<li><a href="/proprietary/proprietary-surveillance.html">Surveillance</a></li>
<li><a href="/proprietary/proprietary-subscriptions.html">Subscriptions</a></li>
<li><a href="/proprietary/proprietary-tethers.html">Tethers</a> to
servers</li>
<li><a href="/proprietary/proprietary-drm.html">Digital restrictions
    management</a> or “DRM” means functionalities designed
    to restrict what users can do with the data in their computers.</li>
<li><a href="/proprietary/proprietary-jails.html">Jails</a>—systems
    that impose censorship on application programs.</li>
<li><a href="/proprietary/proprietary-tyrants.html">Tyrants</a>—systems
    that reject any operating system not “authorized” by the
    manufacturer.</li>
<li><a href="/proprietary/potential-malware.html">Potential Malware</a></li>
</ul>
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</div>

<p>Users of proprietary software are defenseless against these forms
of mistreatment.  The way to avoid them is by insisting on
<a href="/philosophy/free-software-even-more-important.html">free
(freedom-respecting) software.</a>  Since free software is controlled
by its users, they have a pretty good defense against malicious
software functionality.</p>

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<p class="unprintable">Updated:
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$Date: 2017/09/30 21:00:11 $
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