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Discussion on: free software actually costs something

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Michiel Hendriks • Edited on

"Free as in speech, not free as in beer"

People should use "gratis" instead of "free" when they mean "no price tag". Other languages don't have this issue, as free is only related to freedom and not to gratis. Some people even opted by using the term Libre Software.
This tiny linguistic issue is a major problem. People, and companies, see free software both as something for which you do not have to pay (at all) but do expect all the services you would get for paid software; and they see it as worthless.

Free Software never meant not being able to charge people for it. Straight from the GPL FAQ:

Does the GPL allow me to sell copies of the program for money?
Yes, the GPL allows everyone to do this. The right to sell copies is part of the definition of free software. Except in one special situation, there is no limit on what price you can charge. (The one exception is the required written offer to provide source code that must accompany binary-only release.)