The Non-Compete Software Movement

Being thoughtful about our actions, and our compromises.Why Non-Compete Software hurts CommunitiesAt the heart of the non-compete software movement is the fervent desire to keep the upside of being an open source community, without compromising the ability to capture revenue..It says:We share the right to use the software, to improve the software, and to extend that softwareAs long as you do not compete with my commercial ambitionIt starts by affirming your rights..We share those values..It’s better to have software that I can improve or extend..I want that..That’s good!Then comes the kicker: part of the community (the business part) only extends those rights to you if you are willing to support their commercial ambition with your efforts.We are immediately no longer peers..If I contribute my labor, improving the work you shared with me — it can only be to your monetary benefit..It can never be to mine..It’s not a community space anymore — it’s your space..I just get to hang out in it because you like the vibe I bring, or because I can’t stop re-arranging the lamps, and happen to have a better sense of lighting design than you do.It’s not that you aren’t making a fair trade..Look, without you building the space, there would be no opportunity for community at all..But when you tell me it’s about me — we both know that’s not true.. More details

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