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Business model

GNU GLOBAL is a BOKINware defined in the following documentation. Our business is based on this business model. Since this model is written as a general public business model after the manner of the GNU GPL, everyone can start a business based on it.

The BOKIN Model Definition

Version 1.0, December 17, 2005
Copyright (c) 2005 Tama Communications Corporation

Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this document, but changing it is not allowed.


BOKIN Model is a business model to obtain proceeds by widely collecting donations while developing and distributing free software. This model is constructed not to take away consumer's freedom of software.

The business which comply with the following criteria can be called a business based on BOKIN Model.


    The person who start a business based on BOKIN Model must be a business corporation registered in the home country. (Herein after called the corporation)

    The corporation develops free software. (Herein after called the BOKINware)

    The corporation distributes the BOKINware under GNU GPL (GNU General Public License) and GNU FDL (GNU Free Documentation License). Exceptionally, external packages which the BOKINware uses, small supporting files, short manuals and rough documentation can use simple all-permissive license, compatible with GNU GPL.

    The corporation manages copyright on the BOKINware for consumers to keep on using it at ease.

    • Every file in the BOKINware should have a legally valid copyright notice and a license notice.
    • To include program which is assigned from another developer, the corporation receives a disclaimer paper or assignment paper signed by the author.
    • To include program which is not assigned, the corporation confirms its license is GNU GPL or compatible with GNU GPL, lists the files and authors in a file named AUTHORS, and lists the license in a file named LICENSE. The BOKINware should contain these two files.

    The corporation maintains mailing lists for consumers to cooperate one another.

    The list members, including the corporation, don't owe any duty.

    The mailing lists should include the following two at least.

    • Bug mailing list
      This list distributes, to the active maintainers of the BOKINware, bug reports and fixes for, and suggestions for improvements in the BOKINware. This list is also for user discussion.
    • Help mailing list
      This list is the place for authors, users and installers of the BOKINware to ask for help.

    The mailing lists can be replaced with a similar communication tool.

    The corporation can decide the operation policy of the list, but must not obstruct the list members to cooperate one another.

    The corporation collects donations widely as its proceeds.

    The corporation must not offer the donor an individual supply of profit.

    The corporation open the donor list to the public.

    The donor list includes the following information.

    • Date of donation (The date when the corporation received the donation)
    • Amount of donation (Amount which the corporation received)
    • Donor's name
    • Donor's nationality

    When donor's name and nationality are unknown or the donor prefers to remain anonymous, they are treated as anonymous.

    The BOKINware should contain the donor list as a file named DONORS. It is preferable that the list is open to the public even on the Internet.

    The BOKINware should contain the present definition as a file named BOKIN_MODEL.


The author may publish revised and/or new versions of the BOKIN Model Definition from time to time. Such new versions will be similar in spirit to the present version, but may differ in detail to address new problems or concerns.

End of The BOKIN Model Definition

Frequently Asked Questions

Version 1.0, December 17, 2005
Copyright (c) 2005 Tama Communications Corporation

Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this document, but changing it is not allowed.

BOKIN Model Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What does BOKIN mean?
    BOKIN means collecting donations in Japanese. (BO=collect, KIN=money)

  2. What is the purpose to require the person who start a BOKIN model business being a registered corporation?
    The purpose is to prevent people from donating to the person who does not exist actually.

  3. Is annoying copyright management necessary?
    Yes, it is. Copyright management is absolutely necessary for consumers to keep on using the BOKINware at ease.

    It is dangerous to use the software whose copyright is not neatly managed. If you use such software, you might suddenly be prohibited to use it, or be claimed a license fee of high priced. These are not imaginary fears but troubles of reality.

  4. Why is program license limited to GNU GPL?
    Because GNU GPL defends consumers in two points.
    • Copyleft License
      Since GNU GPL is copyleft license, it makes a program free, and requiring all modified and extended versions of the program to be free as well. As a result, consumer can keep on using the BOKINware at ease in the future.
    • Widely Known
      Since GNU GPL is widely known, and is explained frequently, it does not become the load to consumer. It is troublesome for consumer to understand new licenses.

  5. What is the purpose of the donor list?
    There are two purposes.
    • To defend freedom of donation.
      The consumer can decide whether to donate after understanding the situation of the donation. If nothing being informed, freedom does not exist there. In BOKIN model, consumers are not isolated existence.
    • To praise donation.
      To praise donation brings new donors. Since BOKIN model owes all to people's free wills, we cannot praise the donation too much.

  6. Is donation spent on the BOKINware?
    It depends on the management of the corporation. Since donations become the proceeds of the corporation, the corporation itself decides the usage under its freedom.

  7. Is the donor list kept true?
    It is very difficult to mix lies in the public information, because it is checked by various methods.

    • Donors can confirm whether they are listed.
    • People can ask whether to have donated to the donors in the list.
    • The tax office can examine the contradiction between the content of the list and the content of the declaration of the corporation's taxation business.

  8. Why is the corporation prohibited from doing an individual supply of profit for the donors?
    When individual supply of profit becomes ordinary, donation fall into the payment for the profit. We cannot call it donation. BOKIN Model business should be supported only by people's free will.

End of Frequently Asked Questions

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Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
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