[UPHPU] OT: open source software and freedom (was: Zend Studio)

Lonnie Olson fungus at aros.net
Tue Jun 7 11:08:26 MDT 2005


On Jun 7, 2005, at 10:30 AM, Mac Newbold wrote:
> Okay, that's about enough of that one. How many people do you know  
> that will pay for something when they can get exactly the same  
> thing for free? How much will they pay? Whatever the media and  
> convinience is worth to them. I'd say in most cases, that's  
> probably not more than $10, especially since there isn't the  
> Instant Gratification like there is with free
> downloadable software.

I am sorry you misunderstand.  Perhaps you didn't read the link I  
included.
Free Software is *not* the same as Open-source.
Selling Free Software doesn't mean you have to distribute it for free  
to the world.  It just means that person who buys your software will  
get full source code and the Freedom to do with it that they please.   
You don't have to make it open source at all, and it is still Free.

Note: Open source is a development model.  Free Software is a  
philosophy.

> Many places that commission software today aren't too happy if they  
> have to pay big bucks when you're giving it away to everyone else  
> for free. Especially in cases where it gives their competition all  
> the same advanatages you helped them gain, but without the cost of  
> investing in the software. You really can only pull that trick a  
> few times before people stop patronizing you altogether.

If someone commissions you to write software you don't have to  
distribute it to be free.  Free Software != Open source.  To be Free  
you just need to provide the source and the Freedoms that go with it.

> Good free software doesn't need much support, so there's not a  
> whole lot of money to be made in supporting a particular package.  
> Probably the most profitable way to do it is by providing general  
> end-user support for their free/open software systems. If you're a  
> programmer, that usually isn't the most interesting job in the world.

Um, shall I mention that RedHat has made big bucks in the past off  
support of Free Software.


I am trying to keep my mouth shut as everyone seems to hate me.  :)   
However, all these misunderstandings and questions make it difficult.

Free Software has great value.  It promotes innovation, and provides  
the opportunities for anyone to do so.  It gives people the freedom  
to excel in their businesses through customized software.

I understand that the shift to all software being free will be  
difficult and take a long time.  Primarily because of ignorance and  
misunderstandings.  During the transition I understand using non-free  
software for many reasons (no alternative, better than the free  
alternative, etc).  But we must educate people and work to innovate  
beyond the non-free world.  Linux/BSD are examples of this progress.

--lonnie

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