Subject: Re: Need arguments Pro LGPL
From: David.Chase@ENG.SUN.COM (David Chase)
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 93 10:53:52 PDT


> Secondly, it seems like a bad idea to me to expound on the advantages
> of free software by suggesting that none of your competition will touch
> your GPL-infected code with a 10 foot pole.  It lends strength to the
> detractors who say that financially-viable free software is a fluke
> that could not work if everyone shared code, and that the primary
> reason they stay in business is that everyone else is just too scared
> to dive in and plagiarize them to death.

Currently, this appears to be the case, and I see nothing wrong with
exploiting the competition's mistakes and misunderstandings.  In fact,
I know of (but probably should not name) at least two companies that
are/have been "scared of" free software, to their detriment (my current
employer is not, to my knowledge, one of those companies).

In the short run, this might even mean a certain amount of apparent
anti-free software propagandizing by the company making use of free
software -- nothing like a little disinformation for the competition,
eh?  Presumably the competition figures this out when products
incorporating free software actually begin to ship, but much time has
passed by then, and they are at some disadvantage, even given source
code to work with.

In the long run, I'd rather expect that (for instance) the workstation
vendors might perceive some value in a uniform collection of Free
Software.  The licensing provisions more or less ensure that the
"standard" is in the hands of whoever has the most resources to
"improve" it, and the "battles" take the form of actual/proposed
contributions to the software base, as opposed to the sorts of things
that decide these issues in meetings.

Sorry if this doesn't sound like the direct road to truth and beauty.

David Chase
SunPro (speaking for myself)