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Re: Design Questions - recommendations and clarifications needed

"Bengt Thure'e" <bengt@zag.att.ne.jp> writes:

> I have been struggling to understand what the GPL means and
> what I can use ...
> Been checking Mozilla's GPL, GPL, LPGL etc and I guess I got
> overloaded with to much data and abreviations...

Some of the "standard" open-source licenses are in
/usr/share/common-licenses.  I'd try to avoid product-specific
licenses like the Mozilla or Q (KDE/Qt) licenses.  At least the FSF
has thought out the mechanics of "selling" "free software"; see
e.g. http://www.fsf.org/philosophy/selling.html.

> I have this idea of designing a finance package directed
> towards companies and have two alternativs

(Like gnucash, sort of?  :-)

> 1) Go fully GPL, which means can not charge for the package,
> 	but I can charge for the services (which is more or
> 	less the software package, but I am sure I can think
> 	of various additional items later)

I know the upstream developer of RT (Debian package request-tracker3),
who uses this model; see http://www.bestpractical.com/rt/.  There's a
support mailing list (rt-users), which seems to get a lot of "help me
install" sorts of email, but you can also pay for support.  If you
want a feature added to RT, you either need to write the code yourself
(it's free software) or pay money to have the code written.  It seems
like this model works well enough for a small organization, but part
of its success from what I can tell is a fairly strong following amont
free-software people.

> 2) Go proprietary, and can charge for the package.
> What is the recommendation today.

Since you're asking on a Debian list, GPL or some other free license
is definitely preferred.  See http://www.debian.org/social_contract.

> Any recommendations on tools and libraries I can use?
> (For the proprietary version?)

Writing proprietary software for Linux has got to be a little tricky.
For example, if you wanted to write a proprietary KDE application, you
basically couldn't, because your application either has to be licensed
under the GPL or be freely redistributable according to the QPL.  If
you do go this route, make sure you carefully check the licenses of
any software your program links against or otherwise uses at runtime.

David Maze         dmaze@debian.org      http://people.debian.org/~dmaze/
"Theoretical politics is interesting.  Politicking should be illegal."
	-- Abra Mitchell

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