Commercial Software

simo idra at
Tue Mar 15 12:41:10 UTC 2011

On Tue, 2011-03-15 at 11:13 +0100, Matthias Kirschner wrote:
> * Sam Liddicott <sam at> [2011-03-15 09:56:40 -0000]:
> > Maybe "commercial software" is software where the rights of use and
> > conveyance for the recipient must be negotiated with respect to
> > commercial considerations (transfer of value in return).
> What commercial considerations should prevent the freedom to use and
> share?

Maybe someone should define what 'commercial' means in the context of
software, and then you can check each case that matches.

But the problem of using the terms 'commercial software' is not in it's
definition but in the fact that, when used as antonym for 'free
software' it gives the idea that you cannot do commerce (ie make money)
with free software.

This is certainly wrong, therefore from a free software activist point
of view, using the term commercial software to identify proprietary
software is counterproductive, as it puts the person you are talking to
in the wrong state of mind with regard to the perception of free
software as a valuable commercial tool.


Simo Sorce
Samba Team GPL Compliance Officer <simo at>
Principal Software Engineer at Red Hat, Inc. <simo at>

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