Choosing Software Freedom Costs Money Sometimes

Friday 24 January 2014 by Bradley M. Kuhn

Apparently, the company that makes my hand lotion brand uses coupons.com for its coupons. The only way to print a coupon is to use a proprietary software browser plugin called “couponprinter.exe” (which presumably implements some form of “coupon DRM).

So, as for, I actually have a price, in dollars, that it cost me to avoid proprietary software. Standing up for software freedom cost me $1.50 today. :) I suppose there are some people who would argue in this situation that they have to use proprietary software, but of course I'm not one of them.

The interesting thing is that this program has a OS X and Windows version, but nothing for iOS and Android/Linux. Now, if they had the latter, it'd surely be proprietary software anyway.

That said, coupons.com does have a send a paper copy to a postal address option, and I have ordered the coupon to be sent to me. But it expires 2014-03-31 and I'm out of hand lotion today; thus whether or not I get to use the coupon before expiration is an open question.

I'm curious to try to order as many copies as possible of this coupon just to see if they implement ARM properly.

ARM is of course not a canonical acronym to mean what I mean here. I mean “Analog Restrictions Management”, as opposed to the DRM (“Digital Restrictions Management”) that I was mentioned above. I doubt ARM will become a standard acronym for this, given the obvious overloading of ARM TLA, which is already quite overloaded.

Posted on Friday 24 January 2014 at 15:19 by Bradley M. Kuhn.

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from standard import disclaimer
SELECT full_text FROM standard WHERE type = 'disclaimer';

Both previously and presently, I have been employed by and/or done work for various organizations that also have views on Free, Libre, and Open Source Software. As should be blatantly obvious, this is my website, not theirs, so please do not assume views and opinions here belong to any such organization. Since I do co-own ebb.org with my wife, it may not be so obvious that these aren't her views and opinions, either.

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