Subject: Re: Explanation of copyleft ransomware model
From: "Karsten M. Self" <>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2001 11:34:27 -0700
Mon, 15 Oct 2001 11:34:27 -0700
on Mon, Oct 15, 2001 at 06:48:36AM -0700, Zimran Ahmed (zimran wrote:
> --- Norbert Bollow <> wrote:
> > The code
> > becomes completely Free as soon as I've sold 100
> > copies.
> Now I see what you mean. I would not call this
> "ransoming" at all. 


I feel the terminology adopted by Theo is pejorative, and hurts his

> I would call it selling proprietary code (ideally through versioning)
> and then deciding to open-source it. the only difference is there's
> some sort of guarantee that the code will be liberated down the line.
> And you are quite right, this (all versioning) is not compatible with
> the GPL.

Versioning isn't.  Developing, requesting payment, and releasing, is.

Again, to this extent, what we're discussing is a development/business
protocol, not a license.

I'll also refer readers to L. Peter Deutsch's Aladdin Ghostscript
licensing (previously mentioned IIRC).


Karsten M. Self <>
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