Subject: Re: [may be junkmail -pobox] Re: Thoughts on GPL
From: kragen@pobox.com (Kragen)
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 1998 21:44:51 -0500 (EST)

On Tue, 3 Mar 1998, William C. Cheng wrote:
>  Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com> wrote:
>   | You are only obliged to make source code available to people who have
>   | the binary, and you are not obliged to give either to anyone at no
>   | cost.  As the FSF says again and again, "free" software is not about
>   | price, it's about freedom.  And as patriots have noted throughout
>   | history, freedom is never free (of cost).
> 
> It just seems strange to me that if I sell my GPL'ed software to a customer
> for $1M, since he has the source, he can simply turn around and sell it to
> two of his customers for $0.7M each, and each of them can sell it to their
> customers for $0.5M each, etc!  But may be that's the beauty of it (and
> every one of these customers makes money).

Well, this is theoretically possible, but I suspect that somewhere
along the line, someone will put up an ftp site.  No more $0.5M's after
that, unless the people involved really want to spend their money.

Keep in mind, too, that usually a customer who's willing to spend $1M
on software is actually a large company, and that (by my reading of the
GPL) they must not prohibit their employees from taking GPLed software
home and putting up ftp sites there.

So the traditional software model, built on artificial scarcity, is
likely not to last very long when the software in question is GPLed.

Kragen