Scam site selling GNUCash

Mike or Penny Novack stepbystepfarm at
Wed Apr 18 07:52:58 EDT 2012

>Can't really recall whether or not they included the required license terms, but I guess they did.
>I did uninstall that particular version and re-install the version from your official download source so hopefully that should be safe unless he has done something a little more devious.
>Thanks for getting back to me.
The "free" in free software refers to the license terms, not the cost. 
Anybody is allowed to give it to you for free as in "free beer" but 
nobody is required to do that and what MUST be free is the source code, 
not the compiled run exec ready to run on your computer under your 
favorite operating system.

A little history? The free software movement goes back before the 
internet as we know it. The people taking part in this discussion* 
weren't necessarily envisioning free as in free beer but "software for 
the price of a book" (and being academics, that might be a pricey book). 
There was no distribution of software via downloads from websites in 
those days. They envisioned "free" meaning "for the reasonable and 
customary price of a good copy on standard medium" (which these days 
would be CD or DVD). And I repeat, that was the SOURCE CODE.

Anybody could distribute compiled versions for whatever they wanted to 
charge for these with the idea being that they couldn't charge an 
unreasonable amount for the service or somebody else would step in to 
undercut them.

BTW --- That reported 35 pounds IS unreasonable. Living out here beyond 
broadband I have a good idea what the services charge that will download 
what you want and deliver it to you on disk. Yes I can put a laptop into 
the car and drive into a town where public access to bandwidth is 
available for free but the gallon+ of gas and the hour round trip 
driving time isn't free. Most of the services charge $5-10 (but certain 
standard requests for which they get lots of requests may be much 
cheaper as are bulk orders). Might I humbly suggest that this (and 
other) free software projects make available their distributions "on 
medium" for a fee. That IS allowed and some of us would choose that way 
of getting software.

Michael D Novack

* Sorry, my records of the discussions (exchanges of position papers, 
etc.) was lost in a house fire. I can't quote from it.


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