Subject: Re: GNU licensing, free software and reality
From: rwm@ATRONX.OCUNIX.ON.CA (Russell McOrmond)
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 1993 14:41:05 EST

Ethan Alpert (ethan@earl.scd.ucar.edu) wrote:
: Do all the programmers and support personel at GNU work for free? That's what 

  One issue for you to look into, and that is the definition of the word 'free'.

  One meaning is at 'no financial cost', and another meaning is more
similar to speaking of 'liberty'.  GNU software is 'liberated', it doesn't
come without financial cost.

  With much GNU software you are paying for support, and not the software.
It is liberated which allows there to be true competition in the
area of software support as it is always the person who supports the software
best that gets the contracts, not the person who 'owns' some
piece of software (And may be useless in support).

  I myself use the GNU public licence in the software that I write and
release to the public.  My software has been compared by some to 
'Crippleware'.  There are certain features that don't exist until you 
pay for it (IE: I don't write features into the program until someone 
pays to have that feature added).  While it is true that you are not 
FORCED to pay for the program if what it currently does is exactly 
what you need, you DEFINETELY pay for it if
you want extra support, or extra features added.

  Time is money : If you have the time to support yourself, then you don't
need to spend the money to have someone else support you.


  This is of course how I personally look at the GNU licence.  Others
treat it like 'FreeWare', but I myself definetely do not!

: Ethan Alpert  internet: ethan@ncar.ucar.edu | Standard Disclaimer:
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