Subject: Re: Sun to free Solaris.
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 18:31:05 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "kms" == Karsten M Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com> writes:

    kms> Anyway, it seems that the idea of a company's
    kms> free-software-but-not-GPL'd work getting converted to GPL is
    kms> somewhat unnerving to, if not a lot of folks, enough in the
    kms> right (or wrong) places to make companies think long and hard
    kms> about whether that's something they want to do.

Please unpack this.  The GPL says "only I have the right to create
proprietary derivatives."  It is the strongest protection a company
can have for its intellectual property if it decides to release that
property as free software.  I don't see why lawyer/management types
would find the GNU GPL more unnerving than non-copyleft free software;
rather the reverse.

What the lawyer/management types generally try to do is put in
controls that guarantee that downstream contributions revert to the
owner of the upstream copyright---but with that kind of proviso, the
software is not free anymore.

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