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Re^2: OSS and the Profit Motive

by tbone1 (Monsignor)
on Mar 06, 2006 at 17:19 UTC ( #534715=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: OSS and the Profit Motive
in thread OSS and the Profit Motive

The intent is to keep the software free as in speech.

Not entirely. The various BSDs, even Apple's version, are free as in beer. Sometimes the intent may be that you have found something useful and think others might find it useful, too. (Which is basically the reason Larry made Perl available to the world, if I read the histories correctly.) And I'm sure ego-stroking is part of the intent, too.

--
tbone1, YAPS (Yet Another Perl Schlub)
And remember, if he succeeds, so what.
- Chick McGee


Comment on Re^2: OSS and the Profit Motive
Re^3: OSS and the Profit Motive
by tirwhan (Abbot) on Mar 06, 2006 at 17:32 UTC

    Umm, how is software licensed under the BSD license not "free as in speech"? You can take BSD-licensed code and relicense it under a more restrictive license (e.g. the GPL or a proprietary license), but that doesn't take away from the fact that the original code is and remains Free/Libre Software.


    All dogma is stupid.
Re^3: OSS and the Profit Motive
by spiritway (Vicar) on Mar 06, 2006 at 20:54 UTC

    Good point (I didn't know Apple's was free). No doubt there are many different reasons why people write the software they do - Larry wanted to give folks a useful product; Linus wanted a Unix clone; Stallman wanted some other goal, perhaps. And as you noted, probably getting ego strokes, recognition, was a factor for many. But that's the motivation for *writing* the software, not for choosing the license. It seems to me that, for whatever reason people wrote the software, they placed it under GPL (or similar) licenses to keep their creations 'free'. Why they wanted to keep it free may vary - some might just want to make sure they got credit for the work, which often doesn't happen with proprietary licenses. Some - the Mother Teresas of the IT world - might genuinely want to share their work with the world, so that everyone can have access to good programs. No doubt there are other motivations - heck, probably lots of people do it just to spite a certain large software company whose name I won't mention, but whose initials are "Microsoft".

    Ultimately, only the people who actually did the licensing can say with certainty what their motives were - and they might not be altogether clear about it, either.

    BTW - love the "Yet Another Perl Schlub"...

      I can offer at least my own motivation for using open source licensing: I consider it unethical to treat ideas as "property". I don't use open source licenses to achieve an aim so much as simply because, given an option, I think it would be wrong of me to do otherwise.

      print substr("Just another Perl hacker", 0, -2);
      - apotheon
      CopyWrite Chad Perrin

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