Public Money - Public Code: Helping with the campaign

hellekin how at
Tue Aug 29 18:46:55 UTC 2017

On Mon, 28 Aug 2017 14:09:23 +0200
Paul Boddie <paul at> wrote:

> "In a large country with a dynamic software industry, government officials may 
> wish to make it easier for commercial firms to benefit from publicly funded
> research and development."

Thank you Paul for your very thorough response that covers that entire
chain of understanding.  Indeed, in this quote, "commercial firms" is
understood as "proprietary software firms" as opposed to "free
software firms".  This confusion that free software would be
'anti-commercial' is at the heart of the power of proprietary
solutions over free software in public institutions.

One way to dispel this fallacy is to show that successful commercial
venture with free software through valuable examples, e.g.--retaking
some that appeared during the last RMLL: GNU Health, that is used in
many hospitals in South America and the Carribeans, or the newly
founded Synpell (trade unions for free software producers) in France.

By showcasing the existing successes of commercial free software we can
easily counter that argument, and expand the meaning of 'commercial
firms'.  Nevertheless it remains important IMO not to limit this
understanding to capitalist trade which is only the tip of the iceberg
of the world economy: free software excels where proprietary software
ceases to extract profit, in scientific research (e.g., biology,
genetics, scientific publications, etc.), in commons practices (e.g.,
OSM,, in hobbyist and education markets (e.g.,
genealogy, electronics, etc.)...

I'd be really interested if we would start compiling such use-cases
and, as Moritz suggested, dispel anti-free-software arguments. 

Thank you again for your insight and for rectifying my original
intention in the eyes of others on the list.


hellekin <how at>

More information about the Discussion mailing list