☆ FOSS is not “non-commercial”

I keep seeing people contrasting “free/open source software” with “commercial software”. This is a really bad contrast, as in my experience almost all open source software is commercial. It’s just commercial in a different way.

Open source software is not “non-commercial” – rather, it is software where, when commercial activity takes place, revenues are generated from the delivery of value around the software rather than by controlling access to the software. This switch away from artificial scarcity liberates developers from many different places – in location, cultural and motivation dimensions –  to synchronise overlapping interests and collaborate around an open source code “commons” to sustain the wealth-creating vehicle they jointly enjoy.

4 Responses

  1. “Free/open” contrasts with “proprietary.”

    “Free/as-in-beer” contrasts with “commercial.”

    I think it was you who taught me that?

  2. Must be why I always preferred Wodka and Wine than Beer …

  3. […] ☆ FOSS is not “non-commercial” Wild Webmink […]

  4. I think what you have noticed is that commercial software does not have to restrict or otherwise violate users. Commercial should not be used a a synonym for non free software.

    Another class of value in software is fitting general purpose software to specific applications.

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