Defining Free Software Business

Sam Liddicott sam at
Sat Jun 24 17:32:59 UTC 2006

Alfred M. Szmidt wrote:
>    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.
And by debian merely not being listed, this subtle fact is hidden from most.
Let it have a weaker public listing to make its standing more clear;
Let people know it has only 2nd level membership because it includes 
non-free software.
> You will only 
I dispute the literal and intended meanings of "only" here, we could 
replace the word with "possibly also"
> 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
> Network.
Maybe, but we will be promoting them because of (and in proportion to) 
the positive and free activities they undertake and not the non-free 

The type of onlooker that is incapable of being made aware of this is 
not the kind who will commonly be swayed by stricter definitions or 
sparser membership lists.

If we can cause their balance sheet to show increased demand for their 
free-er activities then their business plans will begin to reflect this.


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