TonStanco at aol.com wrote:
> 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?
er... free software is sold. and non-free software is given away for
free. and free software developes get paid.
so how is this?
redhat, slackware, and mandrake are all gpl'd distributions with nearly
100% of their distributions being free software. iirc, redhat linux
sells for $70.
star office and internet explorer are non-free - you can't see the
source. they're free (as in price, not freedom).
many free software developers get paid. in addition there are places
like source exchange and some others that are attempting to provide new
ways to get money to developers.
no offense, but you're writing an article. i doubt you'll really want
to delve into the logistical difficulties of royalties for free software
developers. it isn't a simple problem, and within the free software
community it's been tackled a number of ways. look to the mysql
developers for one try. i think it's larry mcvoy who's making bitkeeper
and he has another method for deploying his software. there's also the
sun community license, but it's hard to see how i could go about making
a kevin lyda community license and deluding myself into the idea that i
could enforce it (or pay the lawyers fees to do so). it might also be
wise to look into history - post offices used to charge by the mile
instead of a flat rate until it was shown that it was more costly to do
so. or you could look at the music industry in canada which has lobbied
for and gotten a tax for each blank cd sold. maybe the free software
community should charge a similar tax for each cd and/or bandwidth taxes
of some sort. but then how does it get distributed.
there are other example, poke around the net.
when writing your article please try to convey the complexity and the
different motivations/needs at play. don't make it a "gpl sux/bsd
sux/windoze sux" article. pretty much every side has *some* valid
points, and pretty much every side will make exagerated args/claims.
kevin at suberic.net "we were goin' for breakfast. in canada. we
fork()'ed on 37058400 made a deal: if she'd stop hookin', i'd stop
meatspace place: home shootin' people. maybe we were aiming high."
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