Subject: Re: Open Source -> Closed Source
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <stephen@xemacs.org>
Date: Sat, 14 May 2005 23:08:09 +0900

 Sat, 14 May 2005 23:08:09 +0900
>>>>> "Santiago" == Santiago Gala <sgala@hisitech.com> writes:

    Santiago> El vie, 13-05-2005 a las 17:04 +0900, Stephen
    Santiago> J. Turnbull escribió:

    >> The point of the GPL is to ensure that future versions, as well
    >> as the present one, are free.  But there is a loophole---if you
    >> are the copyright owner.  So why are people so confident that
    >> software monopolized by the FSF will stay free?

[...]
    Santiago> Furthermore, the way the Apache Software License works
    Santiago> means that, it the ASF somehow dissolved, any third
    Santiago> party would be able to take on the code of a project XXX
    Santiago> just by:

That's basically the definition of "free software".  I don't see the
relevance to this thread.  What's under discussion here is how can you
trust that the current developers won't choose to fork off a non-free
project, leaving the free version temporarily orphaned, probably
stalled in confusion, and probably in less competent hands in the
middle to long term.  See the "Computer Survey" thread for why this
matters.

It's true that a key developer could join the Moonies or get married
or something, with similar effect, but what is being discussed here
(as I understand it) is how to avoid is providing  a profit motive 
for projects to "go closed".  The FSF solves that by tying both hands
behind its back.

I'm not saying that people don't have similar faith in Apache (or
Linux or Mozilla or ...), I rather suppose they do.  But the Apache
group has to have solved it some other way; the ASL isn't copyleft, so
you don't even need ownership to take a project closed.  The fact that
the Foundation is chartered as a nonprofit is only a minor impediment;
the part of their charter you quoted suggests they could even take
 some  projects private and use the proceeds to fund others---there's
nothing that says a non-profit must provide all its products below
cost.

-- 
School of Systems and Information Engineering http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
               Ask not how you can "do" free software business;
              ask what your business can "do for" free software.