Software Sharecroppers

There was an interesting article posted the other day on Slashdot comparing programmers to sharecroppers. Here’s a quote:

If you’re developing software for … any platform that is owned and operated by a company. They own the ground you’re building on, and if they decide they don’t like you, or they can do something better with the ground, you’re toast. They can ship their own product and give it away till you go bust, then start charging for it; and use secret APIs you can’t see; and they can break the published APIs you use.

The full article is available here. This is just one more reason to avoid proprietary software.