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Re: sustainable development

From: Bas Wijnen
Subject: Re: sustainable development
Date: Sat, 15 Aug 2009 12:38:22 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)

On Fri, Aug 14, 2009 at 08:34:58PM -0400, steve paesani wrote:
> Hello,


> I am new to L4-hurd development and would like to know
> where the original developers stand on commercial licensing.

I don't exactly know who you mean by "the original developers", and I
think I may not fall in that category, but I'll give you my opinion
anyway. ;-)

> I think the micorkernel is neat and may work on it
> however I would like to use a 'dev'comp' license that affords
> that the software's development costs be compensated through
> sales. In short I would like to work on it with the knowing that I can
> market it and it's ensuing works.

I'm not sure what you're asking.  I'll answer a few options.  By "under
a non-free license" I mean it forbids using it for certain purposes, or
viewing the source, or redistributing, or modifying, or distributing the
modifications.  In other words, a license which does not grant all the
freedoms that software should have according to GNU.

A - You want to sell the microkernel itself under a non-free license: We
    will never allow that.
B - You want to change the microkernel and sell that version under a
    non-free license: We will not allow that either.
C - You want to write device drivers or other programs which are
    intimately linked to the microkernel design, and sell them under a
    non-free license: We will be unhappy about it, however I am unsure
    whether it is at all possible for us to forbid it.  Personally, I
    think I would not want to forbid it either (but I could change my
    mind on that).
D - You want to write applications or libraries which can run on the
    system and sell them under a non-free license: We will be unhappy
    about it, but unable to forbid it.

> I realize this goes against the idea of  free software

If you're talking about A or B, you are effectively saying "I want to
make money on your work; you're giving it away for free anyway, so it is
appearantly worthless to you".  This is (IMO) true for BSD-licensed
works.  However, when using the GPL, I want my work to be used for the
benefit of free software.  I invest my time so that the free software
community can grow and be stronger.  I'm not giving it away as worthless
junk; I'm giving it away as a present to people who want to be part of
my community.

This is why we will never allow the release of our software under a
non-free license: our work would be used against our cause.  We want to
make the world better, and invest time in it.  The software we create
shall not be used against us.  We choose a license to carefully forbid

> however I also realize that not all things in life are free and
> developers need to get paid at some point for their work.

What a novel idea!  We should tell this to the free software community.
They probably never thought of this!

Seriously, I'm not going to answer this.  I'm sure you can find enough
flames on the subject by searching the web. ;-)

Bas Wijnen

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