Subject: Re: Thoughts on GPL
From: Keith Bostic <>
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 17:44:42 -0500 (EST)

> From: Russell Nelson <>
>> Nobody is making money from selling software that's GPL'd.
>> There are add-on companies, there are bundlers, there are
>> support organizations, hardware vendors and so forth.  I need
>> an example of a company that wrote an application, GPL'd it,
>> and is now selling it, expecting to make a profit on those
>> software sales alone.
> Isn't that exactly what Cygnus is doing?  Read their ads.  There's
> nary a mention of the word "free", nor "support" in there.  They even
> changed their name from Cygnus Support to Cygnus Solutions.

I don't think so -- my understanding, pending correction from
John, is that they did not write their software from scratch
(or even, initially make significant additions to the already
existing software.)

The original statement was that you can't recover development
costs using the GPL model.  Cygnus had few development costs to
recover, when they started, and what development costs they had
scaled with their customer base as they only added development
costs as part of a new contract with a customer.

>> Here's the easy win: give me an example of a product where the
>> vendor is giving away the source code under the GPL or similar
>> license, and selling the same software, intending to profit from
>> nothing other than sales of that software.
> Aladdin.  Do I win?


Aladdin doesn't release the software they're trying to sell
under the GPL.  They release versions that were current some
years before, under GPL.  Current versions of their software,
i.e., what they're trying to sell, aren't available under the

Next contestant.  :-)