Subject: Re: Studies
From: Kragen <kragen@dnaco.net>
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 1997 16:07:19 -0500 (EST)

On 29 Nov 1997, Russell Nelson wrote:
> Adam J. Richter writes:
>  > It is instructive to remember that the purpose for the development of
>  > the FPL was not direct public benefit, but rather so that Alladin could
>  > charge for some of the rights granted by the GPL but not the FPL.
> 
> The freedoms included in the GPL include the ability to profit from
> proprietary software using GPL'ed software.  For example, MANY vendors
> of proprietary software have included my GPL'ed packet driver
> collection in their packages.  The FPL discourages proprietary
> software, and encourages libre software.  This is a direct public
> benefit, no?

I am not certain that this is the case.

Someone said that one of the big differences between the GNU developer
community and the Linux developer community is their attitude toward
commercial software.  If I understand correctly, the FSF was founded on
the premise that proprietary software is immoral, and should be stamped
out, if possible.  This attitude seems to be almost nonexistent among
people whose introduction to free software was Linux.

I think that the current amazing commercial acceptance of Linux is due, to
some part, to the Linux developers' openness to commercial software.
Schlumberger and Corel are two well-known examples; I suspect that there
are many, many more companies who are closet Linuxers.

I think licences like the kermit, tkman and nvi licences, which prohibit
sale of the software while otherwise allowing free distribution, is to
enormously reduce use as soon as alternatives are available.  tkman is far
better than GNU man; kermit is far better than minicom; I don't know
whether nvi is far better than vim, but I imagine so.  But many more
people use GNU man than tkman, simply because their distributors were able
to install GNU man legally.

Probably other people here have a better view of the dynamics involved.
I'd like to hear what they think.

Kragen