Proprietary Fraud

Nonfree (proprietary) software is very often malware (designed to mistreat the user). Nonfree software is controlled by its developers, which puts them in a position of power over the users; that is the basic injustice. The developers and manufacturers often exercise that power to the detriment of the users they ought to serve.

This typically takes the form of malicious functionalities.

Here are some examples of proprietary software that defrauds users—taking their money by trickery.

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

  • 2021-06

    Peloton company which produces treadmills recently locked people out of basic features of people's treadmills by a software update. The company now asks people for a membership/subscription for what people already paid for.

    The software used in the treadmill is proprietary and probably includes back doors to force software updates. It teaches the lesson that if a product talks to external networks, you must expect it to take in new malware.

    Please note that the company behind this product said they are working to reverse the changes so people will no longer need subscription to use the locked feature.

    Apparently public anger made the company back down. If we want that to be our safety, we need to build up the anger against malicious features (and the proprietary software that is their entry path) to the point that even the most powerful companies don't dare.

  • 2019-08

    A game published on Facebook aimed at leading children to spend large amounts of their parents' money without explaining it to them.

  • 2014-01

    Some proprietary games lure children to spend their parents' money.