Monday, October 19, 2009

The Point of Free Software

Mark Pilgrim:

Still, there’s a qualitative difference between letting people download your own work from your own site, and watching other people try to profit from it. But it is precisely this difference that strikes at the heart of the Free Software/Free Culture ethos. Part of choosing a Free license for your own work is accepting that people may use it in ways you disapprove of. There are no “field of use” restrictions, and there are no “commercial use” restrictions either. In fact, those are two of the fundamental tenets of the “Free” in Free Software. If “others profiting from my work” is something you seek to avoid, then Free Software is not for you. Opt for a Creative Commons “Non-Commercial” license, or a “personal use only” freeware license, or a traditional End User License Agreement. Free Software doesn’t have “end users.” That’s kind of the point.

1 comment:

Stephen Downes said...

But - again - it's not "others profiting from your work" that bothers me (I couldn't be happier). It's "others blocking access to your work" that bothers me. People making money by *preventing* my work from being shared.