Subject: Re: Thoughts on GPL
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: 18 Feb 1998 22:50:27 -0000

Keith Bostic writes:
 > First, we haven't found it yet, and a lot of bright people have
 > been looking.  (The current model of invest money and bring the
 > product to market has been around for much longer than the
 > software industry.)

But neither have we 1) had the Internet, 2) had such a malleable
product, which 3) many people can contribute to in small ways, that 4) 
can be distributed at zero incremental cost.  I'm not saying that
any of those is necessarily the solution, or even part of the
solution, but it redefines the terms of the problem.

 > Second, I believe a new model would require that software be
 > declared to be somehow fundamentally different from other products
 > that we buy and sell.

You've only been on the list for a week or so (archives at*/*), but apparently someone is now
selling GPL'ed music (or the moral equivalent of the GPL).

 > I've seen a number of other solutions, and I'm happy to talk
 > about them if folks are interested.  I don't think that any of
 > them are possible in the current climate.

Well, the purpose of this list is to help us become better
businessmen.  Part of that is figured out what business we should be
in.  :)  So we're all ears.

 > I believe that there is value to the "free software" movement
 > in software that is not completely free.

Sure.  LPD's (hmmm....  funny that lpd should be working on software
usually used in printers) Aladdin Free Public License is another
licensing model for software, which permits recovery of an up-front
investment while simultaneously preserving many advantages of the GPL.
I think his license should be considered separately from his use of
the GPL, which is a historical accident based on his promise to rms to 
use the GPL.

-russ <>
Crynwr supports Open Source(tm) Software| PGPok |   Freedom is the primary
521 Pleasant Valley Rd. | +1 315 268 1925 voice |   cause of Peace, Love,
Potsdam, NY 13676-3213  | +1 315 268 9201 FAX   |   Truth and Justice.