Why (closed) proprietary standards are an insult (to the free world)

September 28th, 2012

Use of proprietary standards is like talking a language that people can’t learn or understand freely.

By that, it’s the language of the privileged or the elite. Because you need to buy a license before you can communicate. Sometimes that license can’t be bought, because they won’t sell it to you ¬†or because they don’t like you.

Legally you can’t do much with a Photoshop .psd file if you haven’t bought a license. They can put you in jail, if you try.

Limiting communication that way is an insult to the free world.

Proprietary formats are OK if you don’t want to communicate, they’re not OK if you do want to communicate. So we don’t want proprietary standards on the internet, because the web is all about communication.

Yes, this is to all people that send proprietary file-formats like Photoshop (psd) or Illustrator (eps) to other people by default, and claim you can’t be a professional when using open source software.

Yes, this is to websites that offer documents in .doc or .xls formats for download.

Yes, this is to Apple and Microsoft who both push proprietary formats for video and audio on the web, simply lying about their motives. The Apple-flash-eats-my-battery nonsense, the Silverlight shit.

Yes, this is to Microsoft that has a patented format that somehow made it to an recognized open format, .docx, not really free, but we promise `not to sue you`. Don’t patent it in the first place.

And yes, I’m sure that Apple and Microsoft don’t mind that Adobe has never released Photoshop or Illustrator for Linux. They have settled that somewhere. At least it’s shows there isn’t enough competition.

Freedom is nice, but you need monopolies to make real money.

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