For Microsoft Windows, there exists a lot of software which can be downloaded gratis, granting full access to all features without paying, which is not however OSS or FOSS. This occurred to me when looking at Metatogger, but I couldn't find out anything: Why might a developer decide not to make any money with their software, but still to keep the source proprietary?

Note that I'm not talking about security-critical gratis software, which might be employing Security through obscurity.

  • Probably they don't want to publish part of the codebase that is also common to a paid software. Draftsight was freeware, but shares lots of techincal stuff with AutoCAD, which isn't free
    – Elcan
    Sep 9, 2019 at 15:14
  • And you are asking not those people, but instead some other people who are creating CC BY-SA 4.0 content?
    – 13042
    Sep 9, 2019 at 22:19
  • @john This was the first place I could think of for asking this question, because I imagine people with expertise in FOSS would know about its downsides and perceived downsides. Also, I am not looking for a project-specific answer, but for a more general one, as a lot of Windows software is gratis but not open or free, not just this specific one. Sep 10, 2019 at 0:30
  • The developers may be using libraries that don't allow distributing the source code, or perhaps they just don't want to deal with the hassle of getting permission to do so.
    – Brandin
    Sep 10, 2019 at 6:11
  • The developers may also be using open source licenses such as MIT or BSD which allow binary-only distributions that do not themselves require releasing accompanying source code.
    – Brandin
    Sep 11, 2019 at 8:33


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