Feedback appreciated for "There is no Free Software company - But!"

Matthias Kirschner mk at
Mon Nov 28 15:48:49 UTC 2016

Dear Daniel, 

thanks for your feedback. I have to think a bit more about it, but my
gut feeling is that your suggestions will make it more complicated. 

* Daniel Guagnin <lists.d at> [2016-11-17 14:41:46 +0100]:

> Moreover it could be useful to differentiate between different kinds of
> the limitations to run the software. As I discussed earlier [1] a
> non-commercial restriction can be a tool to safeguard the long-term
> maintainership of a project, if it is conceived to let some money flow
> back into the project in case of monetization (even if at the same time
> it can hinder the adoption of that software on a larger scale).

I have seen it in some places that people switched to non-commercial
licenses because of business decisions. In most cases my impression is that
those problems can be solved in other ways than to make the software
proprietary. Will think a bit more about how the FSFE can explain that
better in future. 

> In regard to limitations of use I would also be happy to see a
> differentiation between the exclusion of arbitrary groups (like let's
> say vi-users) or if a limitation of use focuses on the exclusion of use
> cases which violate fundamental rights (let's say torture).

That can be quite dangerous for Free Software. It would violate one of
the core four principles of software freedom. Related to that see:


Matthias Kirschner - President - Free Software Foundation Europe
Schönhauser Allee 6/7, 10119 Berlin, Germany | t +49-30-27595290
Registered at Amtsgericht Hamburg, VR 17030  |   (
Contact (  -  Weblog (

More information about the Discussion mailing list