A reader of this website recently asked me what the word Trashware exactly means. Here is a short explanation and a few pointers to more informations. You’re encouraged to add more in the comments. Many computers are dumped or given away when they are still in perfect conditions, only because somebody or something forced their owners, without a real need, to use some new software program which is (often without real reason!
- Many non-profit, non government organizations (NGO), including those who try to express dissent in authoritarian regimes, use popular software like Windows or Microsoft Office for their activities without paying for a regular license, because they have no money. Therefore, charging these organizations for software piracy is an effective way to shut down disturbing voices. They are violating laws, after all. According to the New York Times, “Microsoft is vastly expanding its efforts to prevent governments from using software piracy inquiries as a pretext to suppress dissent.