Subject: Re: Who holds the copyright? (was Re: The merger: a user's perspective)
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 15:50:03 -0500 (EST)

Stan Shebs writes:
 > (Bradley M. Kuhn) writes:
 > > There is no guarantee nor requirement that they ever release the software as
 > > free again if they hold the copyright.
 > True, but it doesn't hinder parallel development of new versions based
 > on the already-freed sources, which I thought was your original
 > concern about hostile takeovers.

It's even a reasonable way to make money from free software.  Write
some good software, GPL it, get a lot of people using it, then sell
your company to someone who wants to create a proprietary fork.

For extra credit, show how the world is harmed by this.

 > There are some examples of forked free/proprietary versions of
 > programs, such as BSD vs SunOS, but I can't think of any where the two
 > were contemporaneous, and a company tried to sell a proprietary
 > version directly against a free version.  Does anybody know of such
 > cases?

sendmail and Sendmail/Pro(tm)?

-russ nelson <>
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