Defining Free Software Business

Alfred M. Szmidt ams at
Sat Jun 24 13:55:28 UTC 2006

   What about classifying businesses according to the Debian
   guidelines (main, contrib and non-free)?

This would undermine the goal of a Free Software Business and the GNU
Business Network.  This is also why e.g. Debian is not listed as a
recommended GNU/Linux system by the FSF and the GNU project simply
because Debian includes non-free software.
You will only end up promoting non-free software by allowing business
who promote and/or support non-free softawre to be listed as a Free
Software Business or as a business that is part of the GNU Business

The FSF has a list of Free Software business already, known as the
Service Directory (

Here are the requirements that need to be fullfilled for a
company/person to be listed in the Service Directory:

| This is a list of people who have asked to be listed as offering
| support services for GNU and other free software for a fee or in
| some cases at no charge.  To have your information added to this
| list, please send an e-mail to <service at>.
| The information comes from the people who asked to be listed; we do
| not include any information we know to be false, but we cannot check
| out any of the information; we are transmitting it to you as it was
| given to us and do not promise it is correct.
| Also, this is not an endorsement of the people listed here.
| We have no opinions and usually no information about the abilities
| of any specific person.  We provide this list to enable you to
| contact service providers and decide for yourself whether to hire
| one.
| Before FSF will list your name in the Free Software Service
| Directory, we ask that you agree informally to the following terms:
| 1. You will not restrict (except by copyleft) the use or
|    distribution of any software, documentation, or other technical
|    information you supply anyone in the course of modifying,
|    extending, or supporting free software.  This includes any
|    information specifically designed to ameliorate the use of free
|    software.
| 2. You will not take advantage of contact made through the Service
|    Directory to advertise an unrelated business (e.g., sales of
|    proprietary information).  You may spontaneously mention your
|    availability for general consulting, but you should not promote a
|    specific unrelated business unless the client asks.  Please
|    include some indication of your rates, because otherwise users
|    have nothing to go by.  Please put each e-mail address inside
|    "<>".  Please put nothing else inside "<>". Thanks!


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