Subject: Re: Mandatory donations or build from CVS...
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2001 23:08:47 -0400 (EDT)

Keith Bostic writes:
 > Now, on to what I believe -- a lot of very smart people have tried to
 > figure out how to make money from Open Source software.

Depends on what you mean by that.  Do you call Crynwr's packet driver
development "making money from Open Source software" or do you call it 
"patronage"?  If you find a customer who wants a piece of software
badly enough to pay you for it up-front, is that the latter or the
former?  Or both?

Yes, if you define "making money from Open Source software" to be
per-copy charges, then it's a truism that you can't make money from
Open Source software.  Heck, it's practically part of the definition
of Open Source software.

I completely fail to understand why people are attempting to get
per-copy payments for Open Source software.  You can't do it.  Don't
try!  There's lots of software out there that desperately needs
support, and customers who would use that software if only they could
rely on getting support.

 > I believe the root problem is the Open Source community's refusal to
 > approve a license returning money to the copyright holder.

Sure, because that's exactly what distinguishes us from other types of 
companies.  If you think this is a problem, then you are looking for
profits in all the wrong places.  Use a proprietary license and don't
let your respect for RMS pressure you into feeling guilty.

 > There are components of the Open Source view (for example, access to
 > source code with the right to modify) that are separate from the right
 > to freely redistribute without compensation to the copyright holder,
 > and which are valuable in and of themselves.  We should acknowledge
 > there are reasonable levels of Open Source and adopt a big-tent policy.

Sure.  Source-Available software is a *good* thing.  Unequivocably.
But it's not OSI Certified Open Source.

L. Peter Deutsch's Aladdin Public License is a good choice for free
software that companies would like to include in their software.  If I 
had packet drivers to do all over again, that's the license I would
have used.

-russ nelson <>
Crynwr sells support for free software  | PGPok | It's a crime, not an act
521 Pleasant Valley Rd. | +1 315 268 1925 voice | of war.  For my take, see:
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