You have wrote,
When we are dealing with moral and ethical issues that
led to the
formation of the Free Software Movement we cannot confine ourselves
just to the terms set forth in the GPL. The GPL is only a licencing
scheme that was formulated to reflect the principles of behind the Free
Software Movement. If we imbibe the spirit of the movement, then we will
be able to see that the whole issue is about sharing with the community,
and not just giving a copy of the source code to the customer, who, for
all one knows, would often not be able to make head or tail out of it.
Just as a programmer has the freedom to make use of code written by
someone, (s)he has the responsibility to give back to the community code
that (s)he has written. I think that is the spirit. Do correct me if I
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.
It may be easy to say that, if you cannot make a
living through selling
services, then you do something else. But we all know that in the
context of our state this is not easily practiced. But I am not sure
that not putting up your software for download would help you earn more
income. If a programmer really wanted to make use of your code, (s)he
could get it from one of your customers, as you yourself have stated.
Or, am I wrong there?
OSS do not think that our market will be affected by spreading of source code.
But our policy is that development of a sotware solution is achieved through
manpower and infrastructure utilisation. Our members are not like Sunday
Congress members. (During the earlier stage of freedom struggle bureaucratic
members of Indian National Congress meet only on Sundays, Other days they
used to work for British rule and they used to blame regular congress
members). As we are full time activists of GPL'ed software. we have to sell
and service on solutions developed by us.
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.
Here is the lists of customers of ShanghaMithra for convenience interested
--P&T Employees Credit Society, Ernakulam
--Central Excise Employees Credit Co-operative Society,
--Malayidamthuruthu Service co-operative bank, Ernakulam
--P&T Employees Credit Society, Palakkad
--Parakkadavu Service Co-Operative Bank, Ernakulam
--Mattanchery Mahajanik Co-operative Urban Bank, Ernakulam
--Government Employees Co-operative society, Kollam
--Pothukal Service Co-operative Bank Ltd., Malappuram
--P&T Employees Credit Society, Thrissoor
--P&T Employees Credit Society, Aalapuzha
--Pattitthara Service Co-operative Bank Ltd., Malappuram
Cost effectiveness becomes secondary because of a few
reasons. I think
the most important issue is empowerment. People who talk about Total
Cost of Ownership forget about the costs of dependency in the long term
and the gain to society through empowerment. While cost becomes
important for a society like ours, it can be properly considered only
when all the implications are taken into consideration, and not just the
immediate cost of implementation. I find a similarity here with the
debate about environment and development, where many people tended to
overlook the long term environmental costs of development projects and
saw only the short term benefits. It is, therefore, important to see
things in their proper perspective.
I think there is no one-to-one correlation between software and
non-environmental friendly projects. So there is no comparison between them.
Cost-effectiveness is essentially a prime requirement for a financially
backward community. But Cost-effectiveness claimed for a non-environmental
friendly projects are pseudo claim. If we are taken into consideration of
environmental costs it is hardly affordable.
You may please list all the cost implications those are to be taken into
consideration when a software is distributed under GPL but not strictly
following your version of ethics of so called free software.