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Except for the fact that open source software does not have to be given away for free. With appropriate licensing, it should be possible to ensure that every owner of a piece of commercial software is given personal access to its source code, without being allowed to redistribute copies nor derivatives of it.
In fact, I have been trying for some time to get OSI approval on an OSS license that handles this use case. However, at this point, it still needs further lawyer review. People on the license-review mailing list have given me some pointers to this end, though, so hopefully I should be able to do that. Edited 2013-04-15 15:52 UTC
How is this different from the commercial software you get access to the source code, like game development middleware?
For me if you prevent any form of redistribution, it is commercial software.
My point is precisely that selling software is not fundamentally incompatible with sharing source code. And once the source code is shared, you get most of the benefits that people normally associate to open source : ability to know what the software you own does, to point its flaws, to toy with it so as to improve your programming knowledge...
Sure, you can't make an incompatible fork of that software and sell it (like Amazon with Android), nor create a free clone of a commercially supported product (like CentOS with RHEL), but I'm not sure that being able to do that is really a quality of the open source ecosystem. More like a nasty side effect of some people's quest for unconditional software "freedom", in my view. Edited 2013-04-15 17:58 UTC
"For me if you prevent any form of redistribution, it is commercial software."
That's a silly definition. Commercial software is paid software, period. Whether you are free to distribute it or not, whether it is open source or not.
Applying nonsensical definitions to words that have a shared meaning is violence against language. There is no dictionary in the world that defines "commercial" as "unable to be redistributed by an end user."