ONLamp: Why Should Free Software Have to Earn a Profit?

“The main complaint I hear about free and open source software
from people in the computer field is that ‘You can’t earn money
from it.’ Sometimes the claim is thrown about with the superior air
of those who consider themselves versed in the ways of the
world–essentially accusing free software proponents of being
economically soft in the head. At other times the claim is made
petulantly, an anxious cry welling from the breasts of those who
have lost jobs in high-tech fields and spent months looking
unsuccessfully for work.

“I got a new perspective on this question recently when I read
the book Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles,
published in 1985 by the much-celebrated business researcher Peter
F. Drucker. It discusses, among other things, the sources for new
ideas. One passage that can prove significant in discussions of
free software comes from Chapter 9, titled Source: New


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