Possibilities for commercial software?

David Schlesinger David.Schlesinger at palmsource.com
Fri Jan 26 21:34:36 CET 2007

On 1/26/07 10:47 AM, "Dave Crossland" <dave at lab6.com> wrote:
>> 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
> paradox.

I'd say you're instead limiting "free" to mean "free according to the
doctrine of the Free Software Foundation". (Should I only be eating in
restaurants which will give me copies of their recipes, for the asking, in
the name of freedom...? It's gonna limit where I can go...)

Why can't a person have the freedom to run proprietary software on _their_
open phone if they choose to? No one's requiring _you_ to, presumably, if
you choose not to. Does the general community need folks like you to protect
us from ourselves? (And you never answered my question about the ethics of

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

But that's at a base level, I don't recall any stated goal of "making sure
that everyone who ever gets their hands on one _keeps_ it that way!" You
don't feel people should be able to customize their phones other than in
"approved" ways? (Slavery is Freedom...?)

>> 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.

Is that the only acceptable business model in your view? If someone comes up
with a legitimately innovative piece of software, you seem to be saying that
they'd be "unethical" to simply charge folks who are willing to pay the
asking price binary-only copies of that software.

I still don't see how trying to limit people's choices is "more free" than
letting them make their own choices.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.openmoko.org/pipermail/community/attachments/20070126/f32b128a/attachment.htm 

More information about the community mailing list