Subject: Re: EROS license
From: Crispin Cowan <>
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 1999 16:02:42 -0700

Russell Nelson wrote:

> When someone writes a program, they own it.  They hold complete
> control over it.  If they choose to make that program freely copyable,
> they are giving up many ways they could use that program.  You get to
> use it in ways they can't control.
> Now you, the ingrate, are saying that you refuse to contribute because
> they can use it in some ways you can't.  Sure, I can see how you might
> feel that way, but our feelings are often irrational.  (Many people
> feel that a minimum wage is fair, but those people probably didn't
> become unhirable because their labor is no longer worth the minimum
> wage).
> I'm not trying to deny your feelings.  I'm pointing out that they're
> not rational.

I don't buy that.  He's essentially articulating why he's more interested in
contributing to a GPL-licensed project than to a project that gives the original
author special rights.  As a contributor, that's his choice.

I think that the whole discussion VERY clearly shows that GPL-licensed projects
have the advantage of more readily attracting contributions, while other
licenses have the advantage of more readily allowing the original author to take
the project proprietary for financial gain.  None of this should be surprising,
but it apparently needs to be re-stated.

So, authors can choose any license they want, and contributors can use licenses
as a deciding factor in choosing which projects to contribute to.  Works for me.

 Crispin Cowan, Research Assistant Professor of Computer Science, OGI
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