Forced ethics

So, I've been thinking.

I'm watching the software piracy world being shaken up repeatedly by increasingly successful interventions in both distribution and production by the authorities of various nations, usually acting in the name of private, for-profit industry groups.

I'm seeing an ever-increasing degree of technical control exercised over the viewing and distribution of electronic media.

I've seen my ISP decide that they should clamp down on my use of the internet connection I'm paying for, and like others in the same business space, lie to me about what they're doing.

It's getting so that I'm going to have to start paying for everything.

And, to be honest, I'm pretty okay with that. Well, except for the traffic shaping shit from Shaw.

The thing of it is, I'm about to be in a position from which I can afford to pay for my software. Across the board. It's kind of nice, actually. As discussed previously on this blog, I approve of software developers' rights to charge for their creations, and have always had ethical issues with the means by which I have acquired them. Soon, that'll be in the past. It's already begun, in the sense that I'm starting to pay for the little shareware utilities that I use, and I foresee doing so in greater quantities as time passes. Couple that with increased reliance on Free/Open Source software, and I have realized that -- at the moment -- my computer at home is almost completely clean of illegitimate software. It's a nice feeling.

The title of this post is a bit misleading -- I'm not really being forced into ethical behaviour, here. It just so happens that concurrent with my own push to be more upstanding, the sources of my content are leaving me no other choice. It's a valid statement, that ethical behaviour is meaningless without the option of behaving unethically. But I made my choice before it became impossible, and I feel that it makes me a better person.

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