Absolutely not, Elive is made by a single person just like Slackware and with the collaboration of a few volunteers and has never been a commercial distro. There is no enterprise or a commercial distro behind it at all, so if you read somewhere about that Elive is a commercial distro please reference them with this to correct it.
Elive exists thanks in part to the non-forced donations of their users, which is used to pay services like hosting but specially the work time of his founder and developer, if the donations get better, then I’m also able to pay for extra work like what I did with PrinceAMD in the past.
The reason of why donations are sometimes an annoying process is because I’m forced, the resources / donations are not even enough to have a meal every day, I could search for a job which gives me better money and a better way of living, but Elive is made from love and passion! So even if some people complains about the donations, there’s some good souls that thanks to them, Elive can continue to exist.
You should know that ‘free’ has nothing to do with ‘gratis’, in fact, the GNU website strongly encourages you to sell free software. And due to this confusion of terms, the word free software has changed to open source software in 1998.
Contrary to some beliefs, Elive is not a commercial distro and has not an enterprise behind it, it is managed by a single person, which sometimes receives extra help and sometimes pays for extra services like programming.
Since more than 12 years, Elive has been supported and continued as an alive project thanks to the payment required to install (or to download, which has been in the past), unfortunately this is a need on this capitalist system and limits a lot Elive to be expanded to new horizons.
Elive is always searching ways to not force the users to pay like giving free installations in exchange to articles, an automated detection of 20 poorest country’s to not include the payment, invitation codes, etc…
So in the end, there was always a more deep desire to give it for free than make it paying, so nothing restricts you to use Elive without need to pay, and in the same time nobody forces you to use Elive, you have the choice.
Extra: If you want to live in a non-capitalist world where is not needed to pay taxes or to pay for software, make a look to the venus project, it proposes a concept similar to the open source applied to the society, a civilization without monetary system.