41

You may charge money for distributing free (as-in-freedom) software. However, if your license is a true FSF-approved free license, then charging based on purpose isn't so much a license violation as it is a nonsensical thing to do. Because the license provides the freedom to use it for any purpose, a buyer can trivially express a desire to use your ...


14

The main problem you will be having is with the freedom to redistribute copies (freedom 2 and 3). The GNU project codifies this freedom in GPL clarifying it's exact meaning: You are free to redistribute copies, either with or without modifications, either gratis or charging a fee for distribution, to anyone anywhere. Being free to do these things means (...


12

What freedoms you provide to a recipient of a piece of software is orthogonal to what price you charge to transfer a copy of that software to someone. The FSF's position on selling free software is: Actually, we encourage people who redistribute free software to charge as much as they wish or can. If a license does not permit users to make copies and ...


11

The GNU Philosophy says: “Free software” means software that respects users' freedom and community. Roughly, it means that the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. Thus, “free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. It says there that the price of the software does not matter in any situation. As ...


8

Free as in beer, is like getting something without payment. Getting food from the community fair (There's one in Toronto that gives free hamburgers to the community every year), something from friends, these are things that you receive without making a payment. You don't pay money. Free as in speech relates to the Free Software Movement. To recognize this, ...


7

You're reading too much into the analogy: "free as in speech" is by opposition to "free as in gratis", to help people understand that "free" is about freedom, not price. The FSF don't claim that free software is like freedom of speech (at least not that I'm aware!). As is usual with software (which doesn't mean it's not controversial), the FSF's free ...


7

The FSF includes Freedom #1 in their Free Software Definition: The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this. A software artifact is not inherently free or nonfree, but the terms under which it is possible (legally and practically) to use, ...


6

Technically you still have free software, but such a business model by itself is questionable. If your product is an end-user application, this is unlikely to work as a pricing model. Anyone who obtained a copy for free can post it online, so that commercial users can get it for free. If you put an addition term that prevents such distribution, then you no ...


6

"Free" is ambiguous in English: A free beer is a beer that you don’t have to pay for (you get it for free). A free speech is a speech where you have the right to express your opinion (you are free). To disambiguate the meaning of "free", you can refer to these concepts: free as in beer, if it’s about the price of zero (aka. gratis) free as in speech, if ...


5

In general, there's no more or less consequence to publishing controversial proprietary software than there is for free software. Regardless of how you license it, software is software, and people will react to it how they choose. The fact that you've released the source and granted redistribution and modification rights for your controversial software doesn'...


4

@Zizouz212 almost got the idea 100%. These ideas are not the same otherwise there would not be two phrases. The big difference with this concept can best be described from a great How-To Geek Article on the subject. "Free as in beer" is when someone gifts to you the software at no cost. You are in no way expected to pay any fee for this or give anything in ...


4

Datasets are difficult. They pose no originality, and this is handled differently in different jurisdictions. Some jurisdictions have sui generis database rights, which are handled similarly to, but distinct from copyright. In the United States for example, databases are not under any protection at all. No license can be attached to it, because it holds ...


4

Do you need a new feature for Notepad++? Do the Notepad++ developers ignore your pleas? Do you lack the expertise to hack it yourself? When that is the case, I can create a Notepad++ fork for you with the feature you need. I will license it to you under the GPL, because the original Notepad++ license leaves me no other choice. That means you are free to ...


4

You should certainly remove the statement from your distribution going forward, but here are several points to consider to put your mind at ease about your past mistake: "Free software" is not a legal term of art, and has two common meanings even in everyday usage: the English word "free" admits both "freedom-respecting software" and "software available ...


3

In a word: no. The FSF advocates for LibreJS annotations because of the special place web browser scripting plays in the lives of web users. The linga franca for browser scripting happens to be JavaScript. Server-side code gets its own consideration from the FSF but the use of JavaScript as a server-side language does not merit more consideration than any ...


3

Does the Open Database License (ODbL) solve a part of your problem? If you alter or build upon our data, you may distribute the result only under the same licence. It is in use by OpenStreetMap, and a.o. ensures coverage of the world gets more granular over time.


2

The Debian firmware page explains that some hardware with free (as per GPL) drivers requires firmware to operate which is not free. For example, the license for ath10k firmware is incompatible with GPL. Driver source code is free software and may be included in Linux kernel. However, without the corresponding firmware, the driver may be useless. In cases ...


2

As I understand it, this is mere use together of the two separate pieces by the recipient of your package (you talk about "bundling" because it helps -- i.e., isn't really essential). As such, this is mere aggregation as GPLv2 understands it, and you are in the clear. Just keep both pieces apart, state clearly what is what, where each piece comes from, and ...


2

Free software is a movement concerned with software that respects the user's freedom. A particular piece of software is either licensed in a way that respects the FSF's four freedoms, or it is not. Whether or not the author of that software makes a living doing what he pleases is a separate concern. This question seems to ask, "How do I make a living ...


2

This question is answered up front in the FSF's What is free software?, which starts out by using the often quoted "free beer" / "free speech" analogy. Quote: “Free software” means software that respects users' freedom and community. Roughly, it means that the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. Thus, “...


1

Short answer: Whether software is "free" (as in freedom) depends on the licensing terms, and the software owner is allowed to license it to different users under different terms. Longer answer: A license that allows noncommercial use only is not a free license because it violates "The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0)." ...


1

You cannot restrict this just with the license in an efficient, working way and still claim it is a Free software. The right thing to do would be to have the support contract in addition to the software. The support may be paid for commercial use and free (mostly non existent or relying on community input only) for non commercial use.


1

It is impossible to answer the question of how much your sales will be impacted by making the source of your game available. However, there are a number of consequences that can be linked to the steps you intend to make. Making the source code available, even without any freedoms, means that competitors can easily reconstruct your innovative algorithms and ...


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