OSS is considered with moral and ethical issues raised
by GPL. OSS is really
sharing its sotfware with the community who reqiure it. We realised its
advantage. If our customer could not be able to make head or tail out of the
source code, they defenitely will approach the nearest approachable software
worker. If our project is funded by a social body, we could have share it
with community for free of cost. Since it did not happen, we have to share it
with community for a price.
If the price offered by OSS is unaffordable, they can
approach our customer.
Same was the advise we have given to Nest when they approached us. Now for
Mayyanad Service Co-op bank Nest has given the same quotation as ours. They
might have received it from some of our customer. OSS is not at all bothered
of re-distributing the product by its customer under GPL. But as a society we
cannot provide our product free of cost. Our policy is distribute it under
GPL for a price.
I think above two para gives an idea of OSS's stand.
I started this thread with the statement that primary issue is not
whether OSS is giving code or not.OSS is not doing anything against
the rules of GNU GPL. But remember its more than a license. The stand
of OSS is misinforming the people. They never talk of the ethical
reason behind Free Software. For OSS its just a cost effective solution
and Free Software provides a better business avenue.
I agree with Dileep that custom software need not be under Free
Software license. May be OSS's work is of that kind. This thread
wouldnt have come up in the first place if OSS said their software
is specific purpose and is proprietary. But issue is OSS is saying
they distribute software under GNU GPL. I told OSS people that i can
provide space to host their work and interested in promoting them.
But the OSS group itself is confused. When i say this some say
code is under GPL and i can get, some asks how will i live, some time
the argument is if the work was socially funded then they could have
released their work. This shows the lack of understanding of the
spirit of Free Software.
Feeling i get from OSS's stand is. They want to leverage the
popularity and financial benefits of Free Software. At the same time
not interested in sharing the code in the spirit of Free
Software. Here Freedom is restricted not through license but through
practice. It will be right to say OSS is misusing GNU GPL.
Even when i put forward my strong objections to OSS, I admire the
enthusiasm and commitment of OSS team. But they misinform people and
that is our concern. I still hope OSS will change its stand in the
spirit of the community.
BTW, I think EIID was a socially funded project(by the District
Panchayath). As i said code is yet to see light of Freedom :(