English [en]   español [es]   français [fr]   русский [ru]  

Proprietary Incompatibility

Other examples of proprietary malware

The “incompatibility” category includes the use of secret formats or protocols in proprietary software. This directly blocks or hinders users from switching to any alternative program—and, in particular, from switching to free software which can liberate the device the software runs on.

Apart from being deliberately anticompetitive, secret formats put users' digital data at risk. For instance, retrieval of old data will become very difficult if support for the proprietary software that can read it is discontinued.

Another sort of incompatibility occurs when a system makes some important operation which would be necessary for migrating data to any other system so cumbersome or so slow that it isn't doable for more than a small amount of data.

More generally, the major tech companies tend to impose artificial restrictions on the interoperability of their products to monopolize the market, and this is often achieved through proprietary malware.

If you know of an example that ought to be in this page but isn't here, please write to <webmasters@gnu.org> to inform us. Please include the URL of a trustworthy reference or two to serve as specific substantiation.


 [FSF logo] “The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a nonprofit with a worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom. We defend the rights of all software users.”