Subject: So what is an FSB anyway?
From: bfox@gnu.ai.mit.edu (Brian Fox)
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 93 16:21:48 PST


Hi Chris.

   From: Christopher Maeda <cmaeda@mc8.mach.cs.cmu.edu>
   Date: Wed, 3 Feb 93 14:20:15 EST
   Reply-To: cmaeda@cs.cmu.edu

   There are other models.  GPL/LGPL is like some community land where
   everyone pitches in and builds a playground.  Anybody can play there.
   Something like BSDI resembles a country club where if you pay your
   dues, you get to enjoy the club with the rest of the members.
   Specifically, if you buy BSDI, you get source to most everything and
   can share changes and bug fixes with other users.  The only difference
   (that I can see) between BSDI and GPL software is that you can't give
   it out to people who haven't paid their dues.  This goes against the
   anarcho-socialist principles that seem to motivate Free Software but
   both models are pretty similar in practice.

The problem with the BSDI model is that the software is not free.  I'm
not talking about the dues that you have to pay; what bothers me is
that code written for "exclusive clubs" cannot be read by people who
aren't members of that club.  This prevents the community at large
from benifiting from prior work.

In addition, every company that supplies source code for a fee fits
this model.  This includes such companies as Sun and AT&T; you pay a
fee for the source code, and then you can modify it.  Essentially
every company that I know of is willing to let you have the source for
some price -- but that price may be prohibitively high.

Brian