Says Richard Stallman: Free Software is not free software (…) in fact you can make money with Free Software.
It is assumed that the Free Software business is in the support and to a lesser extent in other alternatives such as training or selling the physical software CD. According to Stuart Cohen, former CEO of the OSDL (an organization that concentrates the efforts of companies to develop Linux for the business field) in Business Week that model is not working for some reason and exemplifies it with the businesses of the large Microsoft and Sun which have not been able to convert into large dividends nor the deal with Novell (SuSE) nor the acquisition of MySQL respectively.
Open-source code is generally great code, not requiring much support. So open-source companies that rely on support and service alone are not long for this world.
Translated and paraphrased: Open source is generally so good that it doesn't need support, so companies that rely solely on support have no future.
With this phrase I don't know whether to laugh with happiness because Free Software is good or cry because there is no business. Of course, the author highlights the work of Red Hat by adding value to its distro by offering support for its kernel that can only be obtained by paying and for which, therefore, Fedora or CentOS are not enough, no matter how much they resemble them. .
I'm not an economist, I'm just an accountant, so I couldn't rate the article, I can't say if it's good or bad, but maybe there are some strands to put together, it doesn't quite convince me, I find it somewhat terrifying. Because if the model of offering the software freely and charging for the support does not work, it is that we have a problem with the classic Open Source business model and how you could make a living from it.
Another phrase to note in the article is that, according to him, companies should see the model of open source as a means and not as an end.
Here he insinuates that the collaborative effort should go on the side of the developer companies, those that make the distros and large companies such as those that contribute developers to maintain the kernel (I put it as an example only) but perhaps sell proprietary software or the minus a product that encourages you to pay. There are licenses that support this model, they are the famous ones MIT y BSD allowing work on open software and then make it proprietary.
What we can discuss and talk about that would be very entertaining is if we believe that Free Software is going to leave the hobby field, if you imagine, some of you who are programmers living off Free Software and if the rest of us who are software clients imagine paying for an official support.
There was something we talked about in «What is a Free Software user?«. What's up two concepts, the Free Software user and the free user (which is free in this case to "use" free alternatives as proprietary ones), that is a conclusion that many of you drew and that is felt in what Stuart Cohen raises, but not on the side of people like you but on the side of the companies that sell the software.
But if you stop sharing the code with companies and the common people kill the spirit of Open Source? Open Source allows you to open the code and then close it But that could reduce the quality of the software as there are fewer eyes to review it, maybe yes, maybe not, Cohen does not call on companies to become Microsoft but proposes to reduce access to code to maximize profits or to deliver software to the company. measurement of the needs of the company based on a free code but with personalized payment and proprietary modifications.
Everything is debatable, although there is a man who is going to faint with these sayings, his initials are RMS.