LinuxCon: The tragedy of the commons gatekeepers
Posted Sep 27, 2012 8:22 UTC (Thu) by kirschner
Parent article: LinuxCon: The tragedy of the commons gatekeepers
"Richard thought that the idea of defining FOSS based on open development criteria ("license insufficiency" above) is based on correct intuitions. We need to expand beyond the idea of licenses in terms of how we define software freedom."
I agree that if we want to evaluate if something is Free Software or non-free software we have to look at more than the license. Just one example, it does not help us if the software, we use over a network has a GPL license text on the server, we cannot access those rights. So it is Free Software for the person who runs the server, but it is not Free Software for me, accessing the server. (And there are cases where this is ok.)
But we should not mix the software model (if something is Free Software or non-free) with the development model. You can develop Free Software on your own, sell it to one other company, and that's it. (IIRC the average number of developers on sourceforge is one.) On the other hand you can develop a software "for scientific use" between several universities, and through the restriction of "scientific" use, it is non-free. We should differ between the software model, the business model, and the development model. See "What makes a Free Software Company" under "Point 1: Think clearly" for more details.
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