Subject: Re: Thoughts on GPL (sales/marketing issues)
From: John Gilmore <>
Date: Tue, 03 Mar 1998 01:18:59 -0800

>				application writers are forced to
> build sales/marketing organizations to make a profit from their
> work.

Isn't this true in the proprietary software world too?  (BSDI
certainly did this...)  In what way does this statement support the
idea that you can't build a company with GPL'd software?

It would seem to say that you can't build *any* software company
without a sales/marketing organization -- which is probably true.
Even a one-man consultancy has one salesman, selling his or her

> But my statement was that a company with a larger marketing
> and/or support organization can take over your work...

So far it doesn't seem to have happened in the real world.  Having
significant expertise and responsibility for a piece of free software
is a very powerful marketing advantage.

In fact, where I've seen this happen is in the proprietary world.
AT&T used a huge marketing budget to convince lots of clueless people
that "System V" was the only kind of Unix to have.  Despite the fact
that only Berkeley Unix had made Unix usable on modern computers and
modern networks, dozens of companies had to switch their brand of Unix
to "System V" so it would sell to the drones, who controlled budgets.