The Other Ransomware

Jason C. McDonald on August 17, 2017

As a card-carrying member of the Open Source Initiative, and an outspoken advocate for Linux, it shouldn't come as any surprise that I support open... [Read Full]
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Slightly off-topic, but if anyone is really upset by AutoCAD's (or SolidWorks's) ransom model, OnShape is a great free-for-public-pay-for-private alternative that can import/export most industry file formats :) Let's hope this new model starts to open things up a little bit!


I'll have to remember that next time someone brings AutoCAD up to me! Apparently it works on Linux machines, too, which is nice.


Yep! In the browser and not laggy! It's actually on its way to being a good substitute. I think it was created by the same folks that created SolidWorks, before it got bought by Dassault Systèmes.


Great read, very informative.

Random question: Did it ever happen to see a software start as open-source, and then, for whatever reason, move to closed-source? Is it even possible? Did someone tried and (hopefully) failed miserably?


I feel like I've heard of cases, but I'm having a hard time remembering specific ones. I think OpenERP is, partially, an example of open-source-gone-closed. It's now known as Odoo, and they offer two forms of their product. One is still open source, and the other IIRC is not.


I was hoping this was going to be about what a pile macOS and Windows 10 are. But you are right, lucky for me there are enough similarly concerned Linux users that with some app or screenclipper I can avoid most of the hang ups associated with file formats from the individuals perspective and see little moral danger in ripping off those who rip me off (within reason, Windows is far too creepy to rip off and that OS in bunk anyway).

These sorts of reasons for open source need more promotion and the crazies need to be ignored more in these efforts. Its not because "software is a right" or whatever pipe dreams GNU is cooking up to justify their semi-functional existence, its because without open sourcing we get stuck with Windows 10 and the Flash pain the posterior. Having the ability to modify and comntinue develop as a community even when some board of directors decides some other course of action is worth pursuing or Microsoft decides to hire lazy people because of some stupid quote Bill Gates parroted, means technology can grow along divergent and unexpected lines which require no degree in evolutionary biology to realize is better for the industry as a whole. We currently continue to enjoy the last, admittedly crazy dominated, open source push which even large corporations contribute to and have even found how to maximize such communities to offset development costs (hint hint Windows).

Doesn't mean we need to go over board in October or become BSD level puritans and FOSS snobs either. We all must accept that technology is worthless under any economic system if it isn't generating income, as it costs energy to run. The free participation aspect of it exists merely as a way to continue to maintain certain standards without the generated wealth allowing for Microsoft in the 90s levels of megalomania from wrecking the industry or what is best described above by your article. Its not a social revolution, starving people are still better if fed than a cheap PC with Libre Office on it.

Also Adobe doesn't offer a Linux version of their overpriced imaging software, that alone is proof they suck but it has lead to several excellent free and open source alternatives like PencilSheep, GIMP, Krita and my favorite InkScape some of which are available on other platforms costing them income they could have had by being open to Linux earlier (read the forms on their support site if you want to really hate the arrogant bastards)


I'm to the point with technology that something needs to be done with patents and give every one equal chances with hardware software and their minds. What's good for the group is also good for the individual, industry, and future.


You wrote a really infornmative piece and I agree with you that this is a form of ransomware.

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