Subject: Re: Thoughts on GPL
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: 2 Mar 1998 22:02:00 -0000

Keith Bostic writes:
 > Nobody is making money from selling software that's GPL'd.
 > There are add-on companies, there are bundlers, there are
 > support organizations, hardware vendors and so forth.  I need
 > an example of a company that wrote an application, GPL'd it,
 > and is now selling it, expecting to make a profit on those
 > software sales alone.

Isn't that exactly what Cygnus is doing?  Read their ads.  There's
nary a mention of the word "free", nor "support" in there.  They even
changed their name from Cygnus Support to Cygnus Solutions.

 > I don't dispute that it's possible to GPL an application and
 > then build the company that offers support and enhancements.
 > But my statement was that a company with a larger marketing
 > and/or support organization can take over your work, and, that,
 > even if that doesn't happen, application writers are forced to
 > build sales/marketing organizations to make a profit from their
 > work.

In a perfectly free market, you are perfectly correct.  We'll never
have a perfectly free market, and there's money to be made from it.
Same reason PennzOil and Quaker State Motor Oil make money -- by
solving friction problems.

 > Here's the easy win: give me an example of a product where the
 > vendor is giving away the source code under the GPL or similar
 > license, and selling the same software, intending to profit from
 > nothing other than sales of that software.

Aladdin.  Do I win?

-russ <>
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