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I came across licensezero.com some time ago and I agree with the problem it's trying to solve which I see as "sustainability in free software", I think I'd be happy to get money for what I've done, especially when I know it's being used commercially. I care about my users' freedoms, and as long as I keep this I'm fine departing from any definition of "Free software". Anybody tried similar alternative solutions? Thoughts? Feedback? And what were your goals in doing so.

@pep All of these efforts I have seen so far, fall in a spectrum of naive to outright harmful.

Yes, the big cloud providers use a lot of open-source software and profit from it. But does anyone really honestly think Google or Amazon could not just ask some of their teams to reimplement any open-source software they might be using? Yes maybe initially it might not be as good, but it would be "good enough". And in the end, less open-source software is used, a lot of money and time is wasted, and all the other users are collateral or now held hostage by non-free licenses.

People need to come to terms with the fact that the ship has sailed on small companies selling (anything other than extreme niche) software; open-source or not.

Now of course that doesn't change the fact that people need to get compensated for their time spend developing open-source software, but I guess this will have to find other forms.

@povoq > And in the end, less open-source software is used

We are not talking about the same thing.

Google represents the bit that I don't care about. For example they have a ban internally on using the AGPL, and I'm pretty confident they're generally not copyleft friendly.

"Free Software" or "Open Source" is but a means to an end. My goal is not to have companies "use Open Source", my goal is for users to benefit from the freedoms I care about.

@povoq One thing that we probably understand but that I'll clarify anyway: when a company reuses work under a permissive license, nothing forces them to publish their work as free software. Hence my reasoning above.

@pep We care about the same thing, but one of the reasons why user respecting software got to the point that not only hardcore FOSS enthusiasts are using it over closed sourced alternatives is because it started to get used in companies and many of the employees of these companies started to improve it (either on company or free time).

@povoq Well then it would still work with licenses such as licensezero, that's not commercial use if it's "in" companies, "by" companies would be different. And if they want to use the project in a product I don't see what's wrong with having them pay for it, it already happens in lots of places with CLAs (I'm not entirely happy with CLAs but there are solutions). And then developers of that company can still contribute to it as if it was random free software project.

@pep That is what I meant with naive :p

For legal reasons companies will shy away from using such software and it will be next to impossible for the small sysadmin to convince his/her boss to use an open source software officially that has been unofficially already been running on the servers.

It took more than a decade for larger companies to start trusting that GPLv2 project do not come with unexpected legal issues, and they still shy away from newer less legally tested licenses like AGPL etc. Non-commercial licensing especially is also a legal minefield with rulings hugely different from country to country. For example IANAL internal use like you describe would still be considered for profit commercial use in Germany.

@povoq I think I'm fine with that anyway. It's true that all these licenses possibly have different interpretations among legislations, and I don't think we'll escape that anyway.

Companies shying away from licenses they don't know, oh well. I don't believe licenses are the answer and we'll need to go through a few more iterations to figure it out.

The current system puts us in a place where we have to defend Copyright laws somewhat, even if we probably disagree with all that in the first place. We're just bending the rules for it to work somewhat how we want.

@povoq In any case, as much as I appreciate the chatting, this is diverting and not answering my first question :)

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