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About how Free Software can be sold under the GPL licence
#1
I was thinking the other day when Richard Stallman advocated the selling of software in his organisation's licence.

As ill88eagle has pointed out before, we all come here in for free swag. However, ill88eagle also pointed out that he was for Free Software as in libre, not free as in gratis.

My question to ill88eagle and the open source supporters in this forum is this: do you support the selling of software you didn't help create according to the licence?

Me, I thought that Free software was a reason why the world is becoming a better place, and the factor for this is that it rarely costs a thing.

I don't want to be seen as a cheapskate, but Free software is why I make it a point to reduce as much personal use piracy on my computers as possible. And the main reason is that it's mostly free (gratis). The only things that I do pirate these days are operating systems, DVD authoring tools, AnyDVD, and games. Games can't be helped, the alternative would be to not play them.

I am not a supporter of selling software that can be available for free from the original authors. In fact, I disagree strongly for selling software that you didn't make.

I hope to make my pirating habits immaculate one day, though I wouldn't hold my breath when striving for that day.

What do you guys think?
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#2
Have you ever sold some of your old stuff you didn't need anymore? I take it at least some of it was stuff you didn't make yourself. I don't have any moral objections to that.

There are people who make a living by scavenging and reselling junk. I don't have any moral objections to that.

There are people who make a living fixing other people's computer problems. I don't have any moral objections to that.

I have made money by doing IT work in schools, relying on FLOSS software, saving money on the budget that would have otherwise gone into MS and other proprietary shitware. I see no moral problem here.

The GPL allows you to make money off the software at will at long as it remains GPL. That is a welcome freedom which enables savvy people to make a living. If you as a developer (are you a developer?) have a problem with that, pick a different license.

You could roll your own GPL distro with close to zero effort and sell copies + support and be in no moral grey zone. Just hope someone will actually pay rather than do it themselves...

In fact, it has proven EXTREMELY dificult to make any money off GPL software besides support and lazy people wanting out-of-the-box experience. RedHat is an example of a successful GPL business venture (they are contracted by the military). Most other companies rely on donations just like wikipedia. As a funny sidenote, a few softwares like ARDOUR make money selling precompiled windows/mac binaries to the proprietary-junkies while their program is freely available in the debian/arch/redhat repos Big Grin

As for DVD software I consider all that stuff obsolete. You can stream all your HD media to any tv/soundsystem with a 20$ rpi running kodi or similarly cheap solution like say chromecast.

As a user (or are you a developer?), you should be concerned with what strings are attached to the software you use, rather than which are not. Most if not all proprietary software reserves the right to control what you do with it, and the rights to do whatever with your computing at their absolute discretion. It's all in the license. You can't really complain about it if you are using it.

And there are good GPL games available btw. I recommend cataclysm ("dark days ahead" or "bright nights" depending on your level of masochism) for old school rogue-like RPG zombie apocalypse survival, and 0AD for high quality RTS ala age of empires. You will find both in your distro's repos.
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#3
A developer named Paul Lutus, who made the famous Apple Writer (a noteworthy mention, worked in NASA), and now a retired ongoing programmer, "licenced" his software as GPL, but he terms it as "Careware," said that there were some examples in economic transactions that money is not always the best way to convey the transaction. In fact, he says that money is so inappropriate that it ruins the idea. He makes sure that his current programs, like Arachonophlia, his flagship program that is a website editor, are used freely. Now, his licensing his programs under GPL does violate the GPL licence for that action alone, but I do sense where he's coming from. His Careware concept dictates that in order to "buy" the software, you must care. Care about your fellow man, care to not whine and pout about the inequalities of life, and, basically, live life enjoying the simple examples of beauty around you. His website is recommended reading: www.arachnoid.com

I'm not saying that everything should be handed to you on a silver platter for nothing, I'm saying that there are other ways to "pay back" by not just making people pay through the nose for it. Favours, influence, philosophical gain, there are other ways to make a deal that all parties can benefit from and not feel as if they are ripped off.

There are already examples that gratis software are doing such a thing and, to this day, ask only that you donate. They do this to sustain their project, but they don't make it mandatory.

I have no trouble whatsoever to acknowledge that GPL allows for a successful business, but I also believe that there are better ways to do this. Now, I don't pretend to understand Centos in its active days, but as far as I'm concerned, they didn't charge for the software or the support, although it wasn't exactly fingertips support.

I have no problems acknowledging that money is a great motivator in certain things, but as a computer user first, to a novice programmer second, and to a human being third, I didn't like the way money works and I am happy have no part in it as in making others pay through the nose.

Besides, didn't RodneyYouPlonker ding you for not wanting to pay for things? Big Grin Just kidding.

And leave DVDs alone. I love them.

One more thing: you do run closed-sourced DirectX Windows games with pirated Windows too, right?

Not trying to call you out as I have a lot of respect for you as a person, but you get my point, right?
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#4
(Jul 23, 2021, 04:08 am)RobertX Wrote: A developer named Paul Lutus, who made the famous Apple Writer (a noteworthy mention, worked in NASA), and now a retired ongoing programmer, "licenced" his software as GPL, but he terms it as "Careware," said that there were some examples in economic transactions that money is not always the best way to convey the transaction. In fact, he says that money is so inappropriate that it ruins the idea. He makes sure that his current programs, like Arachonophlia, his flagship program that is a website editor, are used freely. Now, his licensing his programs under GPL does violate the GPL licence for that action alone, but I do sense where he's coming from. His Careware concept dictates that in order to "buy" the software, you must care. Care about your fellow man, care to not whine and pout about the inequalities of life, and, basically, live life enjoying the simple examples of beauty around you. His website is recommended reading: www.arachnoid.com

I don't see how the careware license violates the GPL in any way.

(Jul 23, 2021, 04:08 am)RobertX Wrote: One more thing: you do run closed-sourced DirectX Windows games with pirated Windows too, right?

I am actually using a win7 volume license I bought for a school some 10 years back, but yeah. I run windows 7 and XP in virtual machines for recreational purposes
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#5
About "Careware," Lutus contradicts it by implying that he won't support selling it, and implies that he will take legal action if someone sells it. That's the violation. I support that, but that is how he violates it.

He does say, however, that the idea can be dispensed of if the user doesn't do his part by "caring."

About the Windows 7 licence, I apologise for mistaking you for using a pirated copy. Very sorry.
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#6
Good software needs maintenance and maintenance ain't free. The only examples of people selling open source software I can think of are straight scams and companies that offer product support as a service. Kernelcare is a company that sells software to patch servers running linux and has a github of their patching tool. You're more paying for someone else to do the work than the software itself.

If you're talking about selling other peoples' work and offering nothing extra, then yeah that's bullshit.
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#7
(Jul 26, 2021, 22:53 pm)rands2007 Wrote: If you're talking about selling other peoples' work and offering nothing extra, then yeah that's bullshit.

That's exactly what I'm talking about, and Stallman makes that option legally available.

Then again, who's going to be crazy enough to buy from you if they know that they can get the same thing off the original source for free.
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#8
Keyword is *knowing*.
Often people will buy the first thing that comes up in a search, without searching for cheaper altenrates. A typical scammer will flood SEO searchwords.

Some people will assume TAANSTAFL, and assume that anything free is garbage.

Corporate/institutional buyers will freely buy commercial over freeware. Its not their money. I know this from experience, as I have sold many items to them that I overpriced in my database, that I held dear, but only listed as it was easier that way to keep tabs on them, as I am too lazy to create a 'personal' database.

Freeware is vitally important, if only from a civilisational viewpoint.
Software is typically overpriced at $50+ dollars, and up. Which can be a month's salary in some parts of the world. In that aspect alone, capitalism is an impediment to social and technical progress.

Ideally, as RMS states, software should be regarded as a tool to make products, and not a product in itself. It is a disaster that IP and Financials are regarded as part of the GNP. That mindset has deindustrialized most of the West.

We are selling instrumentation software, while we have literally forgotten how to make rocket engines.
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#9
That's a lot of information.

What is: TAANSTAFL?
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