Is it kosher to make OpenSource software?
To write this post I was inspired by this e-mail thread. It is really funny to hear from adepts of free software religious intolerant speeches. And I have got a question: is it kosher enough to write open-source programs?
In addition, I was thinking for a long time about halakhic aspects of Open-source in general. My rabbi told me once an example of halakhic issue:
If a rabbi opens a synagogue on a street and earns money for lending it to study Torah, then no one can open another on that street and especially for free.
In our case free software takes earnings from those, who live for that.
I propose to talk not about opposition Windows vs Linux, but about our, Jewish software.
There are a lot of closed source applications, which are provided for money, or supported by donations. Is there a problem to create open-source alternative software? Don’t we steel money from those, who live on it?
as an example, Kaluach.com distributes synagogue wall display program for a pretty big amount of money. Me personally, I don’t see any problem with earning money for programming (I cannot agree with Stallman to free absolutely all software). But the question is: can I create free-of-charge program, which will concur with Kaluach’s program?