Subject: Re: Thoughts on GPL
From: kragen@pobox.com (Kragen)
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 20:47:28 -0500 (EST)

On Wed, 25 Feb 1998, Jonathan Shapiro wrote:
> (lots of stuff)
> >Bob Young writes:
> >(more stuff)

(so did Ian Taylor, John Gilmore, Michael Tiemann, Russ Nelson, Peter Deutsch,
Stan Shebs, and other people.)

I've really enjoyed this discussion.  I'm glad that my carelessness in
forwarding has ended with such good results -- much good information
about how free-software businesses are possible.

Free software is something that scares a lot of people.  It challenges
our traditional notions of the necessity of intellectual property, in
much the same way that Europe's contact with native Americans
challenged Europe's traditional notions of the necessity of feudal
government.

I believe that, if we reach the year 2010 with our current
intellectual-property law -- or something resembling it -- we will not
have much real freedom in our everyday lives, as a practical matter.
We'd probably be better off entering 2010 with a feudal government than
entering 2010 with our traditional notions of intellectual property.

Thus, I believe that the topic of this discussion -- how small cliques
of cooperating free-software users can successfully invade a large
population of defecting proprietary-software users -- is essential to
the future of humanity.  I believe that, if we can demonstrate that the
intellectual-property restrictions necessary to promote innovations are
very small in today's world, we will all be much better off.

Kragen