GNU Business Network Definition

Shane M. Coughlan shane at
Fri Jun 9 13:31:21 UTC 2006

Hash: SHA256

Ottavio Caruso wrote:
>  > > From: "Alfred M. Szmidt" <ams at>
>> Freedom and practicality don't go hand in hand.

This statement suggests that freedom and practicality are somehow
mutually exclusive.  The existing evidence in our field does not support
this assertion.

The GNU GPL is a practical license.  It uses copyright to ensure freedom.

The Free Software Foundation is a practical collective.  It uses a
combination of paid staff and volunteers to promote the idea of Free

FOSS projects are frequently practical.  Teams coordinate and deliver
high quality technology to users.  This technology include
mission-critical software like the Linux kernel.

There is absolutely no reason freedom and practically cannot go hand in
hand.  They already do.

> But some companies or individuals (I, for example)
> would want to be "certified" (cum grano salis) against
> the GBN guidelines.
> Branding is important in business, be it Microsoft
> certified or Cisco certified or GNU certified.


The reason I suggest that the provisions of the GNU Business Network
Definition pertaining to support contracts are potentially unreasonable
is that branding and certification are key when it comes to business
confidence.  If the GNU Business Network Definition alienates
established integration and support providers it will not be adopted by
them.  The lack of wide-spread adoption will undermine the use of the
certification and thereby reduce it's positive impact on businesses.

IMHO the GNU Business Network Definition should be compatible with as
many existing integration and support vendors are possible to ensure
adoption.  Naturally the GNU Business Network Definition should
encourage Free Software excellence, but the base principle should be to
encourage the use and support of Free Software in business environments.
 Exclusivity of use and support should perhaps be secondary.


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Shane Martin Coughlan
e: shane at
m: +447773180107
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