Dual licensing

Ben Finney bignose+hates-spam at benfinney.id.au
Fri Nov 13 21:33:55 UTC 2009

Michael Kesper <mkesper at schokokeks.org> writes:

> I think there often is the harm to tell people they need to buy
> licenses if they want to use the software "commercially" (it's the
> case here and it was for Qt) or if they need support.

> This makes it look like Free Software could not be used commercially
> or for mission critical goals. I'd consider this a real threat as
> knowledge about Free Software still is pretty marginal in (higher
> levels of) enterprises.

I agree this is a harm they're perpetrating, likely on purpose since it
probably makes some customers think they have no option to sell a work
covered by the GPLv3 and thus more likely to pay for a non-free license.

Interestingly, this harm isn't one that was complained about by the
negative article the OP pointed us to.

> > I prefer to think of the author as offering a free-software version
> > of an otherwise closed product and so consider it a net benefit, but
> > perhaps it makes an only-free version less worth developing.
> You also divide you user base (and such your potential developers).

If some of them were intent on making non-free software, the base was
already split; this does nothing to worsen that.

 \          “Computer perspective on Moore's Law: Human effort becomes |
  `\           twice as expensive roughly every two years.” —anonymous |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney
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