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Re: Documentation Standards was Re: [ox-en] UserLinux

On Mon, 8 Dec 2003, Niall Douglas wrote:

However, software freedom to me includes the right to commercialise if
that's better for the software - injection of capital lets you do
innovation quite impossible without a government grant under the GPL -
and most governments quite rightly won't put public money towards GPL
development, only BSD/MIT etc.

  You are confusing a freedom with a business model.  It needs to be
understood that collecting royalty payments is simply one business model
among many, and for software it is a poor business model.  There is
nothing in the GPL that says you cannot commercialise the software, and
all the commercial companies working with GPL software including my own is
proof of that.  What you can't do is charge royalty fees on the software,
and can't take rights away from your customers that were granted to you.

  You charging a royalty fee for my work is an infringement of my creative
rights that is in many ways far worse than simple non-payment forms of
copyright infringement.  This is why I very deliberately use copyleft
licenses for software where I am the originator of the project.  I will
sometimes not contribute to existing projects because of non-copyleft
licenses like the BSD/MIT license, and run Linux over BSD largely because
of the use of the GPL over BSD license.

To me, the whole GPL thing is similar to Marx's Das Kapital vs 

  Probably good for you to read the GPL and check out all the commercial 
FLOSS work that is underway.  While you are at it, read about 
"commons-based peer production in "Coase's Penguin, or Linux and the 
Nature of the Firm" <>.  With 
peer production the peers can be from all sectors of our economy from the 
for-profit private sector to the public, education and volunteer sectors.

 Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <> 
 Governance software that controls ICT, automates government policy, or
 electronically counts votes, shouldn't be bought any more than 
 politicians should be bought.  --


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