‘Carbon criminals’ banned from freeware

GM Chairman Bob Lutz: definitely doesn’t qualify for a free copy

One ingenious software developer is cashing in on concern around environmental issues by claiming that carbon criminals will no longer qualify to use his freeware.

Instead they’ll have to pay for the pro version of the software. Lewis hasn’t disclosed whether he’ll donate the money to environmental causes or keep it himself.

Software developer Antony Lewis has created a new licence type to create an economic incentive for people to lobby their governments to take action on climate change.

“WordWeb the leading free dictionary program for Windows is no longer free for people who take more than four flights a year” the company said in a statement.

“This new way to increase the direct cost of air travel will provide a small incentive for millions of international computer users to take less flights.”

Lewis says “Climate change is an international crisis. By linking prices to customers’ carbon footprint we can provide an incentive for people to cut down. WordWeb is used worldwide including in many countries such as India with rapidly expanding economies where awareness of climate change is growing only slowly.

“Software developers and internet companies can reach an international audience consisting precisely of those people who are most likely to have unsustainable lifestyles. We hope the new licensing model will increase awareness of the high environmental cost of air travel and encourage people to fly less.”

Lewis has extended the licence restrictions to owners of Sports Utility Vehicles too — the ludicrously enormous four-wheel drives popular in the United States.

Now if only we could get Lewis to act against the owners of Toorak Tractors. People who live in Melbourne will know what I’m talking about.