Buddha approves of hackers

As someone with a long time interest in Buddhism I found this article about a Buddhist monk urging people to use FLOSS very interesting. The idea is using FLOSS for it’s Free as in Beer context to avoid breaking the buddhist precept of taking only that which is offered. I.e. Thou shalt not steal.

I would have thought many other aspects of FLOSS and the flosscomm would appeal to Buddhists.

As far as the UK goes, from my own experience it seems lots of people have illegal copies of software at home, perhaps not the O/S as that comes bundled with the PC, but copies of Office certainly and other application packages. I think this is treated a bit like speeding in a car or inflating an insurance claim in that it is not seen as totally unacceptable to have illegal copies of software at home. (They are just robbing a big evil corporations so that’s ok).

I wonder if there was a serious clamp down on software piracy for home users if the “Free and in Beer” aspect of most FLOSS software would be more of a selling point. (Or more of a giving away point, perhaps).

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