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Linux.com: Money and Free Software

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.”

Complete
Story