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The GNU Philosophy: How practical is it?

From: deostroll
Subject: The GNU Philosophy: How practical is it?
Date: 27 Apr 2007 02:40:56 -0700
User-agent: G2/1.0

I was trying to think of a business that respects this philosophy, but
I feel it is not practical. Before I go further I want to openly
declare that I am not against the philosophy; I support it.

But for a moment think of proprietary way of life. Most of you (i.e.
gnu advocates, including me - to some extent) regard it as evil.
Honestly it not the term "proprietary" that is evil, it's the people!
Even before the idea of free software came to be popular there were
people (good people, not evil) who used proprietary SDKs to make
software and sell it. Their way of life demands that they make profit
out of each copy of the software he or she sells.

That was the proprietary way of life.

If you were to think of making money writing free software apps then
would you be able to earn? Ok, lets assume I sell a copy to you and
you pay me. I assume or at least hope that someone else will buy a
copy from me in the future. But "you" can distribute the copy to
others free of charge! My business wud fail! Because people are not
buying it from me anymore.

In my opinion the gnu way of life does not support the kind of life
that I mentioned above. If businesses were to only think 'that way',
they would fail. Of course one could argue that it is not in the
creating software alone that matters; it is also about support.
(People recognize software businesses for their support after they
market their product).

This post is not about proprietary software; it is about "earning
money". Of course there are other ways of earning money if you are
serious about thinking 'free software'. For e.g. you could go around
fixing or supporting free software apps for other people - adding more
features or removing them; you could do this service for a decent

In a sense it curbs one kind of creativity. But that model or style
of creativity also demands that we be rewarded. But, this must be the
problem being a human being I guess. I don't know, but what do you

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