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why should it be shareware?? don't understand that for a second. the free version is open source... if you wish to pay for am advanced level of support and such, then go ahead. can't see what shareware has to do with that at all. I'm not that familiar with it, but i assume that it's still actually open source anyway. i expect that the FSF are very happy with this sort of thing really. more and more free software is about how to build a profitable business around open source software, adding services to a free product etc...
Well the free version has limitations, because they want you to buy Pro, which claims better results, etc. GNU is all about freedom - not restricting the user. From what I've heard, GNU GPL allows you to modify and redistribute, just as long as you release the modified product under GPL.
so, just because a group of developers put extra work into one product instead of another for whatever reason, they are breaking the license for not giving you that for free? remember that open source and free software is about freedom and control, not about money as you point out. You make it sound like the end users have some bizarre rite to demand all intellectual property coming out of these developers... that's just weird.
what if you have two cars, a nice Jaguar and some crappy american truck thing. you look after the Jag as you saved up your life saving for it, but just drive most of the time in the pickup. Your logic says that if you ever give someone a lift in your truck, they can demand to use the Jag instead, and you don't have a say in the matter... totally nonsensical.
I'm assuming here that the pro version IS GPL'd, and if i'm wrong there then that'd change the situation, but what being GPL'd means here is that if you buy the PRO version, you can request the source code for it from them. and if you've not bought it, mind your own business as it were. again it's the freedom on the fee at stake.
Last edited by acid_kewpie; 02-19-2007 at 07:34 AM.
I know absolutely nothing about LimeWire. However, assuming the people selling the pro version own all the rights to all the code, there is nothing to stop them from dual-licensing it, i.e. having a free GPL version and a proprietary version.
Now, if the pro version is also GPLed, then there's no problem unless they give you the binaries but refuse to give you the source. If they haven't given you any binaries, then they're under no obligation to give you any source. Under the GPL, it is perfectly acceptable to refuse to give anyone a copy of a program unless they pay you. It's just that once you give someone a copy, they're allowed to turn around and give it to anyone else if they want to.