AFPL vs. GPL-like licenses?

Lionello Lunesu lionello at
Wed Jan 17 08:57:56 UTC 2001

Hi there,

(This is a reaction to both David Johnson and Chris Sloan.)

CS> If someone gives you some clothes, they usually do not expect that you
CS> would not wear them to work.  Similarly, if they give you a hammer or
CS> other tool they do not usually expect you to refrain from making money
CS> by using it.

There's 'making money' and then there's 'MAKING MONEY'. I would feel very
'funny' if somebody would end up being a milionair, all from a piece of
software that I wrote. Now I know that this is pretty far fetched and it
means that this someone probably did something right that I didn't, or
didn't think of. But anyway, the fact that such a case gives me this strange
feeling (even when I think of it) is reason enough for me to put
restrictions on my 'gift', my software.

CS> Many people view free or open source software as such a gift.  The
CS> intent is to give something to people so that they can use it.  If
CS> that leads to them making money, good for them.  If they just use it
CS> for fun, that's fine too.

I'm not trying to keep people from making money with my toolkit. Far from
it, they can test the software all they want, and when they have discovered
what it can do for them (ie. how to make money with it) then I'm _very_
willing to give them a chance to do so, but then I feel they owe it to me in
some part. It's a payback for part of the investment that I have done it
that software.

CS> This is particularly apropos because distributing or selling software
CS> is not the same as selling your comic books.  After you sell the comic
CS> books, someone else has them and you do not.  Not so with software
CS> (unless you are selling your rights to the software).

That's quite correct. Thanks for pointing that out. Although part of the
analogy still stands I think. Let's assume for the moment that I had LOTS of
comic books to sell. : )

DJ> By contributing I am increasing the (potential) profits of
DJ> the authors, while at the same time the author prevents any profits to
DJ> I'm not asking for equal profits, or even profits proportional to my
DJ> contributions. Just the opportunity for it.

And you still have that opportunity. The only difference is that under AFPL
(or similar licenses) you need to contact the original author just right
before you put your own software in a box in the store.

If you're really only interested in the benefits for the software society
then you'd probably give your software (based on mine) away too in which
case there's no big difference between AFPL and GPL.

Lionello Lunesu
Bizzarrista Originale.

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