Possibilities for commercial software?

Dave Crossland dave at lab6.com
Fri Jan 26 19:47:47 CET 2007

On 26/01/07, Richard Boehme <rboehme at gmail.com> wrote:
> The point I bring from this is that if, for instance, TomTom has
> mapping software that I want to use, I shouldn't have to jump through
> hoops to get it. I should just be able to go into the market place, go
> to 'Non-Free Software', and buy the TomTom app.
> Your argument may be 'but every software for the phone really should
> be free - people will write it'. However, if someone hasn't come up
> with an absolutely free, modifiable mapping software, I should just be
> able to get the proprietary, closed version. It should be easier to do
> that than to look in the marketplace, conclude 'oh, this doesn't
> exist', and not get an OpenMoko phone because of it.

You are expanding "free" to "free to give up your freedom", which
destroys the meaning of "freedom" with something like a Russell

> If you feel allowing proprietary, closed software in hurts the 'free
> your phone' spirit, and the market place is closed to them, it only
> hurts the amount of applications available for the phone.

The amount of applications available for the phone is not the goal;
the goal is to have a 100% free software phone.

> I'm going to write a finance application for OpenMoko. Is it going to
> be free and open source? Yes.

That is great news, and congratulations on your choice! :-) If you
hope some day to look back on your career and feel that it has
contributed to the growth of a good and free society, you need to make
your software free.

> However, if I were trying to live off of
> it, it would be very hard to make it free and open source. Even in
> areas such as being a waiter where tips are expected and there is a
> known steady stream of customers giving tips, tips alone aren't
> sufficient.

You can also charge for specific improvements, and for support, and
many people have earned a living from free software in this way.


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