On Monday I gave my first proper workshop with my gaggle of reclaimed laptops running Ubuntu Linux, under the auspices of my new training company. This marks a shift away from being a front-end web developer to being an educator, sysadmin and entrepeneur. Oh, and a front-end web developer (well, somebody has to build my web site;).
One of the questions I was asked was “Why are we using Linux?”. The short answer is because I couldn’t possibly afford the software licensing. The longer answer is because I believe in the suitability and philosophy of Free Software, and the fact that greater understanding by the user is as important as new features and more important than polished marketing campaigns.
And one of the eye-openers was a question for the students. 7 out of 10 students had a copy of Adobe Photoshop. Of these, only 2 had a legitimate licensed copy.
I think it makes better sense to teach the (universal) skills with Free Software, so that students can have a copy of the tools they have been using.
Proprietary software, on the other hand, relies upon piracy to establish and maintain the status of de facto industry standard. So I am all in favour of stricter software piracy regulation, as this can only benefit Free Software.