“If buying isn’t owning, piracy isn’t stealing”

But it’s worse than that. When a tech company designs a device for remote, irreversible, nonconsensual downgrades, they invite both external and internal parties to demand those downgrades. Like Pavel Chekov says, a phaser on the bridge in Act I is going to go off by Act III. Selling a product that can be remotely, irreversibly, nonconsensually downgraded inevitably results in the worst person at the product-planning meeting proposing to do so. The fact that there are no penalties for doing so makes it impossible for the better people in that meeting to win the ensuing argument, leading to the moral injury of seeing a product you care about reduced to a pile of shit.

↫ Cory Doctorow

Another excellent banger of an article by Cory Doctorow. Even here on OSNews, I fully support anyone who uses an adblocker to remove any ads you might find on this website. Your computer, your rules. Sure, it’d be nice to get some income from the ads, and we do offer more direct and far better ways to support the website (Patreon, Ko-Fi, Liberapay, merch), but even if you choose to block every ad, and not send us a single cent in donations, that’s entirely within your rights. As someone who runs a website accessible to anyone, I consider your right to only see on your display what you want to see to be sacred. Just because you opened this website to read some tech news does not mean you also consent to seeing ads.

We could probably make a lot more money by filling this site with SEO crap, boatloads of ads, countless newsletter prompts, and god knows what else – but not only would that be the death of OSNews, I would also just find it personally revolting. I regularly get emails from people interested in enshittifying OSNews, but I’ve never budged, and I hope I never have to thanks to those of you who choose to support us financially.

Websites are the easiest to “downgrade”, ad Doctorow calls it, and we’ve all seen how the wider tech news landscape has been downgraded a lot over the years. I hope I can keep OSNews as it’s been since its launch way back in 1998.


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