I write an Internet Business Law column for Internet.com's Boardwatch
magazine <www.boardwatch.com>. I'm writing a series of articles on open
source and I'd like to get community feedback for my next article dealing
with the question below. Can you post this or email your group members? If
they want to respond or comment they can do so by emailing me at
<tonstanco at aol.com>. I'll review responses until March 31, 2000, the deadline
for the article. I expect the article will appear in the June magazine and
online in July.
I'd like to hear dissenting views as much as those that agree.
I believe that Open Source is a very important freedom movement, because,
like Harvard's Professor Lessig says, code is law, but with a non-human
police force. With closed code, we'll all be prisoners in the very near
future. So I believe that code MUST be open.
But can anyone tell me why software can't be both open and sold like Windows?
Why is it that software has to be basically given away if it's open? I'm not
sure that anyone in Open Source has ever answered this question. It just
seems to be assumed without any critical analysis. Why can't Open Source
developers get a royalty percentage of the sale price just like writers,
recording artists or movie actors, and the product sold just like Windows is
through traditional channels, so that the developers get paid for their work?
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