Subject: Re: Thoughts on GPL
From: tower@ai.mit.edu (Leonard H. Tower Jr.)
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 21:27:10 -0500 (EST)

   Date: Wed, 18 Feb 1998 15:20:32 -0500 (EST)
   From: Keith Bostic <bostic@bsdi.com>

   ...

   For example, Peter Deutsch has addressed this problem by lagging
   his GPL releases, i.e., after selling it for a year or so, he
   releases his code under the GPL.  I would prefer another
   solution: lagging the software costs the free community because
   we don't get the latest-greatest software, and it costs him
   because he doesn't get the support of the free community for
   his software.

   --keith

Keith's point is valid to the extent that a software's copyright
holder prohibits free use and redistribution of both binaries and
source.

L. Peter Deutsch and his Ghostscript are not a clearcut example.  I
note that Peter's policy for Ghostscript probably do not allow BSDI to
do what they wish to do with the non-lagged releases of Ghostscript.

Peter initially releases Ghostscript under the Aladdin Free Public
License (AFPL), ftp://ftp.cs.wisc.edu/ghost/aladdin/PUBLIC (more URLs
mentioned below).

The AFPL essentially allows free non-commercial redistribution and
use.  It has some exceptions including, allowing Ghostscript to be
sold as a part of collections that consist of only free software.
See the AFPL for details.  It's as well-written and clear as the GPL
and LGPL are.

This is free enough for there to be substantial and meaningful support
in the free software community for the non-lagged releases of
Ghostscript under the AFPL.  Of course, some of these supporters are
also contributing, because Peter does eventually release under the
GPL.

His policy on commercial use and on eventually GPLing each release of
Ghostscript is discussed in
    ftp://ftp.cs.wisc.edu/ghost/README
and
    ftp://ftp.cs.wisc.edu/ghost/aladdin/commprod.txt

Peter has also written a paper about free software business that he
presented at the FSF conference in Feb 1997: 
    "Licensing Alternatives for Freely Redistributable Software".
Versions in different formats are in directory
    ftp://ftp.cs.wisc.edu/ghost/papers/

best -len