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Name: Richard Alexander
Member since: 2003-06-13 14:16:27
Last Login: N/A

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I have been the developing the Natural Resources Database project for several years and during this time I have worked in a number of developing countries.

The objectives of this project are to provide people in developing countries with simple yet powerful tools to assist in managing their own resources. In itself software cannot achieve this, but as part of an integrated, participatory approach it can provide a powerful tool for planning, advocacy, enforcement etc.

Whilst some of my software is open source, I am current hesitant over making all of it open. My main concern is that whilst the GNU licenses protect against commercial exploitation, they do nothing to protect from projects to which I am ethically opposed making use of the software.

In the interim I make all my source code available to the projects in developing countries to which the project is aimed and increasing aim to make more products available as 'open source'.

I recognise that something like open source is needed to ensure the sustainability of the project in the light of rapidly changing technologies - but how can I defend allowing biotechnology, mining and oil industries (who have all expressed an interest) in using the software when this is contra to the use for which it is intended!


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