[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [DotGNU]Ethics Question

From: Rhys Weatherley
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]Ethics Question
Date: Fri, 07 Jun 2002 19:56:28 +1000

Matthew Tedder wrote:

>     Is it ethical, according to the Free Software movement, to require that
> my advertising remain in any derivative products of software I plan to free?

It's not really an ethical question, so much as a license

The GPL implicitly gives anyone the right to create any
derived work, as long as that work is in turn under the
GPL.  If someone decided to only take the non-advertising
bits of your code and build upon that, it would be
perfectly OK according to the license.

You are essentially trying to prevent people from creating
certain kinds of derived works.  This isn't in keeping with
the principles of Free Software.  The only thing you can
prevent is derived works under non-GPL terms.

Other Free Software and Open Source licenses are more
permissive as to derived works, so they wouldn't help
you much either.

If advertising revenue is important to you, then it needs
to be handled some other way.  Instead of restricting the
code, build a service that is indispensible to the use
of the software and advertise through that.

e.g. If your software has an ad feature, then there's
nothing to stop someone creating a derived work that doesn't
have that feature.  So don't create an ad feature.  Instead,
have a "content" feature, that delivers arbitrary content
from your service.  Ads are then indistinguishable from
ordinary content and so it is harder for someone to build
a client that filters them out.

HTML is like this: there is no "advertisement" tag that
can be filtered out (as much as I wish there were :-) ).
Ads are just clickable images like everything else.
Building a client that understands HTML means that you
have to take the ads too.

Of course, there's nothing to stop someone setting up their
own ad-free content service.  That's why you need to be
"indispensible": you need to provide a better service,
or the users will go elsewhere.  This is a good thing.



reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]