My alternative busines model

Niall Douglas s_fsfeurope at
Tue Dec 3 19:25:13 UTC 2002

On 3 Dec 2002 at 20:02, Marcus Brinkmann wrote:

> On Tue, Dec 03, 2002 at 07:33:28PM +0100, Niall Douglas wrote:
> > Only if the copyright holder has set a price. If they said it's zero
> > cost, it becomes like BSD. If they set a price of 100 billion Euro,
> > it becomes very like GPL.
> Ah, good that you mention that (I read it on the web page, but forgot
> about it).  This is wrong.  The GPL allows you to exploit the software
> commercially as much as you want.  That is one very important aspect
> of Free Software:  You are allowed to make a profit out of it, without
> royalties or anything.
> You can take my GPL'ed program and sell it for 1,000,000,000 euro,
> without even asking me.

And I've never understood the logic or economics behind it. It's like 
having a shop selling goods for no cost but with a delivery service 
which costs money. As any economist will tell you, most people will 
go to the shop manually so they don't have to pay a penny. Only 
people without their own transport or some ideological motive will 
pay for delivery.

Furthermore, people will only donate like this in rich countries 
where the going is good. Come bad times, they'll work around it and 
then the business goes under.

I don't see selling free software as a viable economic model. Ok, 
you'll all tell me RedHat and Suse make a profit but they are doing 
so via a service industry model which as I've explained in other 
emails is a dangerous non-long term viable model which is also bad 
for the industry (in the long-term).

Right, back to debugging! I have exception unwinding bugs to find and 


More information about the Discussion mailing list