Subject: Re: Who holds the copyright?
From: Paul Rohr <paul@abisource.com>
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 1999 18:47:24 -0800

At 08:05 PM 11/21/99 -0500, Brian Bartholomew wrote:
>It's more 'something about companies vs. individuals'.  The bigger and
>more publicly-owned a company gets, the more it sheds non-profit values.

Huh?  The phrases "publicly-owned" or "non-profit" have nothing to do with 
AbiSource.  Your worries must be about some other company or organization.  
I can't help you there. 

>Since I don't see any way for you to make money
>within your expressed values, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Sorry, Brian.  There *is* no other shoe.  I realize that my saying so is 
unlikely to assuage your worries, but I may as well be on the record.

I've tried -- both in this forum and elsewhere -- to be as open as possible 
about what we're doing and why.  We believe that being GPL is a major asset 
for us on a number of levels.  If we're wrong, that may directly hurt *us*, 
but not you.  Frankly, I wonder whether you have anywhere near the amount of 
faith in the GPL that I do.  

We write great software.  We license it under the GPL.  We happily accept 
contributions under the GPL from anyone who'd like to.  We sell copies to 
whoever will buy them.  We also accept money from investors.  We intend to 
repay them, but like any startup there's a significant risk that we won't.  
We believe that we know how to juggle everything to make this all work out 
wonderfully for all our many stakeholders (customers, contributors, users, 
employees, investors, etc.).  

We may be wrong about those outcomes, but so what?  Then everything we've 
built is still out there, in source and binary form, for anyone else to do 
whatever they want with it.  The only asset retained would be the copyright 
to portions of the code, our (presumably disgruntled) customer list, and the 
(tarnished) brand associated with our efforts.  

Again, so what?  If those other assets are still valuable to us (or our 
investors or creditors), then so be it.  What we've contributed to the world 
under the GPL can never be taken back.  

Please stop blindly questioning our intent.  We don't deserve it.  

>Whoops, my apologies.

Thanks.  

Paul