Maybe the Free / Non-free distinction in software and IntellectualProperty is a FalseDichotomy. And there's a virtue in a plurality of software licenses with different degrees of alienation of software from it's author, responsibilty from users.
- BSD-style, total freedom
- GPL, free with the responsibility to share further developments
- Postcardware, agreement to enter into communication with the author
- Shareware, payment at user's discretion. Or required payment, unpoliced.
- Nagware, crippled shareware, limited trials.
- Paid, proprietory software
Two layer model, Open and Visible source : http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2004/06/08.html
Interesting legal perspective on how the GPL can create more worries for companies than the BSD : http://www.acmqueue.org/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=153&page=1
But this :
Even the more ardent Free Software adherents have some good things to say about a licensing scheme that involves some payment but provides source code for learning and modification.
sounds a bit weird. Source available for learning sounds like Microsoft's SharedSource or JoelSpolsky's license. But I can't say I've heard "ardent" (ie. Stallmanites I imagine) FreeSoftware adherents saying good things about them.
Update : Ok, so says http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/categories.html#semi-freeSoftware says good things. But that's in the context where semi-free allows non-commercial freedom of redistribution which isn't something Bricklin conveys.
Linux tightrope : http://insight.zdnet.co.uk/software/linuxunix/0,39020472,39164119,00.htm
Critique of charging. I like this quote : We dont see this outside of the creative world: the man who paves the LA freeway makes roughly the same as the man who paves the little dead-end street outside my house, even though the LA freeway is used a great deal more often.
Is that an original analogy? (Oh, and lets have a (WarpLink) to RoadsGoneWild :-)
April 2005, an argument about Mozilla style licenses :
Bit of a storm in a tea-cup though. Whether Sun, MicroSoft et al. jump on board whole or half-heartedly is just an issue of timing. In five years time, the FreeSoftware community will be producing software beyond anything these companies, with their limited resources, can contribute. (TheHilariousTragedy) Linux is a perfectly good substitute for 90% of the uses for Solaris and it will have caught up (probably by the time Sun finish fine tuning the license to suit all it's internal conflicts of interest). And precisely because Sun will try to keep their work out of the GPLed code-base, the GPL community will have to create a substitute anyway, and then Sun will be totally out of the loop.