Free Software is not the Antonym of Commercial Software

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* Article: Why free software is not the antonym of commercial software: Two case studies from corporate and volunteer based projects. By Stefano De Paoli, Vincenzo D’Andrea and Maurizio Teli. Journal of Peer Production, Issue 1.



"Academic literature often uses the terminology “commercial software” as an antonym of Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS). In this paper we challenge this opposition. Using an approach inspired by ethnomethodology, the paper illustrates how FLOSS developers, both volunteers and corporate employees, use the term “commercial software” as a constituent part of their discourses. We look closely at FLOSS discursive practices uncovering the interactional function of the term “free software” with the aim of provoking a reflection on how such terminology is used in FLOSS academic literature. In particular, we propose examples taken from two case studies: the Geographical Information System known as GRASS and the Operating System known as OpenSolaris."