Teacher says - No software is free

Posted by Katie McLaughlin on December 11, 2009

A teacher from an undisclosed school has threatened legal action against the HeliOS Project, a distribution of Linux, after a student of hers tried to distribute copies of the OS on discs to his classmates. The full letter can be found here.

The women claims that when she used linux back in her college days, it lacked the effectiveness of a Microsoft OS, and was merely “holding our kids back”. She then went on to say that if contacted, Microsoft would provide free copies of previous versions of their operating system, “that way, [your] computers would actually be of service to those receiving them”.

The reply from HeliOS Solutions was pretty much what I would have said to the woman.

  • If you used a continually improving product some time ago, it would have improved significantly since you used it.
  • There is such a thing as free software. Its free-licensed, freely distributed, costs nothing to the user in subscriptions or support, nothing. Zip. Free.

Mind you, how the HeliOS representative told this uninformed leader that MS was binding her and causing her not to see the potential in software was quite amusing. Touche.