It has been announced by Purism that they will be bringing an App store to their Pure OS (Operating System). While the details are light at the moment this does bring up some very important issues in regards to free software.
Before that a small disclaimer. While we support Purism's Pure OS as it is 100% Free Software, we do not approve of their Laptop hardware. While they are trying to be as privacy aware and Free software powered as possible, their machines still contain the Intel Management Engine - an embedded backdoor into the hardware. Purism have tried to neuter this hardware as much as possible but it is still unknown just how potent what is left in the machine.
The Pure OS app store however will be a interesting idea if is modeled off the popular proprietary app model that a lot of big companies produce. If they are to maintain their RYF - Respect Your Freedom certification from the Free Software Foundation in the US, then this store must provide on 100% Free Software.
This brings up the issue of having apps you have to pay for. While the initial assumption that Free software is talking about price, this is never an issue that needs to addressed. While most free software has no cost, it is not a requirement. You are completely free (as in freedom) to sell any of this software to others so long as you respect the four essential freedoms.
1. Freedom to Study the program
2. Freedom to Redistribute the program
3. Freedom to Modify the program
4. Freedom to Redistribute the Modified Program
If Pure OS app store conforms to this then there is a lot of potential for developers to gain from such an arrangement.
If Purism were to charge for this software and were to split the revenue between Purism for hosting and the developer for developing the software, this has the potential to be a very potent means for funding free software.
Hypothetically, say a program like Krita were to be sold for $10 with a 7:3 split on the revenue. The user gets the program and the source code as per the terms of free software. Purism would get $3 for hosting and the developer would get $7 to contribute to their project. It has the potential to be a big win for all involved.
This is just conjecture for the moment but we do hope that this is a model that Purism is considering. If Free Software even had 1/100th the funding of publicly used proprietary software then there would be a big push to develop this software to be even better than it is today.Share on Twitter Share on Facebook