juridical Question on software and GPL

edA-qa mort-ora-y eda-qa at disemia.com
Sat Mar 27 11:56:16 UTC 2004

Axel Schulz wrote:
> I think this is the the real "mess" of the GPL. It is the economical/commercial effect (!!!). Why should people go on and get the 
software from http://www.bemme.de/ when they can download the same piece 
of software from any other website (e.g. Volkers ;-)).

There are numerous reasons why one might give money for the use of a 
GPL'd software:

-Quality of build (or availability of binaries).  You have some 
assurnace that the build you are getting works, and you don't have to 
fiddle around on your own.

-Support.  The money may give you support for the software, it is 
perfectly fair that the original author does not provide support to 
people who have not paid him any money.

-Assurance against ill-effects (quality again).  Working with a company 
trying to establish a reputation, you have at least some assurance that 
the build you get doesn't have trojans installed and perhaps has 
undergond some kind of testing program (related to quality of build). 
Downloading from third-parties you can't be quite certain that the build 
is proper and/or safe.

-Support of further development.  Many people when they get software 
they plan on using it a long time, and they would like to see that 
software evolve over that time.  The money to the author helps keep that 
development going.

-Manuals.  Everybody loves owning a manual. :)

-Update source.  Very popular in Linux distributions, one pays money 
simply so they have a good server to automatically download updates from.

-Certification.  Many businesses may need to get software from approved, 
or certified vendors (as is the case with the ISO 9000 and several 
medical institutes.

-Nice supporting assets.  It is not required of the GPL that you give 
supporting assets, such as Graphics, templates, or whatnot along with 
the software.  (This use/are of the GPL has some issues that I'm not too 
clear on)

edA-qa mort-ora-y
Idea Architect

More information about the Discussion mailing list