Subject: Re: A few here may have an opinion on this
From: Peter Wayner <>
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 20:06:50 -0400

>Maybe I'm just in a grumpy mood but
>I think government tilting the playing field
>against GPL is perfectly reasonable. So far,
>free software has been an utter failure at
>producing large profitable businesses that
>generate tax revenue.  Government legislating
>in favor of GPL will push more of the software
>business into the non-profit sector and make
>us all poorer.

Hey, a penny saved is a penny earned. The government is also a big 
user of Linux and that's saved them plenty of money. They might not 
have gotten any tax revenue, but at least they got free use of the 
software. You're probably the type who complains about moms holding a 
bake sale for the school because they don't collect sales tax. And 
those darn good Samaritans aren't paying income tax like the good 
doctors at the hospital! They must be stopped.

There are plenty of other advantages. The GPL license is also much 
better for classified parts of the government. It may not be perfect, 
but it doesn't force them to tell MS, Sun, IBM or someone else how 
many copies they have, where they are using them, how many CPUs are 
using them, or any of the other crazy details used to "measure" the 
use of software.

The access to the source code is also an unqualified advantage for 
classified parts of the government. If they need a special 
modification, they don't need to go to the company and hope that 
qualified programmers are available with the right security 
clearances. They can control all of the changes and even make them 
inside a vault if that makes them happier.