Someone handed Sharon an open source paper book today. The book was designed to be easily read, while still being easy to copy and share with friends.
Instead of this paperback book being glued together like regular books are, it was configured so that you could remove the pages from the book easily. This was similar to the way a binder worked. All pages could be easily removed from the book, just like a binder.
This allowed Sharon to easily photocopy the book. This book was truly open or free.
The author couldn't sell copies of the book though. Only the service of photocopying the book was to be profited from.
2 weeks later someone developed an open source photocopying machine that ran on a natural based ink contributed to by people in the community.
If you open the source to software, you must open the source to books, photocopiers, and any other material. Can one go around thinking he can charge a service fee for writing a book about free software? Can one go around thinking he can write a free and open compiler, and then charge money for the programs he creates with it? He, is living a clash. Glued paperback books, are the same as closed source software. Yet, many free and open source software advocates write several paperback books. Yet they ignore the fact that they are releasing a book which goes against every term in the GNU or Mozilla license.
It is sad, but many programmers would not have any income whatsoever, without closed source books, and closed source servicing. Free software is far from being open, until the consulting and the service is open too. And what happens, then? We find another loop hole in the system, and start closing the source to lakes, sunshine, and fresh air? For every piece of free or open source software, there seems to be a countering closed source raw material. But software, is a raw too - as it requires raw man hours.
"But books are different than software." a Shallow Thinker stated.
"Books, oranges, and software are the same." a Deeper Thinker stated.
"But I've got to make a living somehow, by scamming people into believing free and open software is somehow magically different than other objects in life." a Pargent thinker stated.
Note: The author of this article uses and participates in open and free software every day. This is not an attack against free software, open software, or freedom. This article was meant to bring out honesty and intelligence by playing devils advocate for a moment. Why is free software so important, and not free oranges and free hardware? If we have a 3D hardware printer in the future that can print hardware virtually free, what will happen to businesses like Dell, Apple, IBM...
See also: Free Books at GNG (GNG is Not GNU)