Free Software - Selling Free Software

Selling Free Software

Selling Software under the BSD license is permissible and commercial use of the project is part of the intent of the license.

The Free Software Foundation encourages selling free software. As the Foundation has written, "Distributing free software is an opportunity to raise funds for development. Don't waste it!". For example the GNU GPL that is the Free Software Foundation's license states that " may charge any price or no price for each copy that you convey, and you may offer support or warranty protection for a fee."

It is a common misbelief however that consumers shouldn't or aren't allowed to redistribute software under the GPL for profit, and some opposing parties state such notions. For example Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stated in 2001 that "Open source is not available to commercial companies. The way the license is written, if you use any open-source software, you have to make the rest of your software open source." When you distribute software under the GPL, you must provide the source code as well and must allow others to distribute it. Yet there are large companies, e.g. Red Hat and IBM, which succeed in doing it.

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