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Linux.com: Money and Free Software

Apr 07, 2000, 17:10 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Rob Bos)

"The phenomenal success of free software to date has created a unique situation in which people are attempting to cynically "cash in" on its rampant and undeniable success. The more opportunistic of the bunch take their products, stamp "open source" on the cover, and re-release them; some of the more enlightened release their products' source code under true free licensing, and some release the software and actively support its development."

"Commercial involvement in a free software project, however, is a difficult problem. Introducing money and monetary concerns into a project that was at one point completely volunteer-based is something that must be done very delicately, if at all. The concerns of the classic free software project are typically very different than the concerns of a project that requires financial motivation. Often, when money gets involved in a free project, some very dangerous things happen: divisions form, people get frustrated more easily, the turnover rate is increased -- and the project suffers because of it."

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