Subject: Re: the walls have ears
From: Michael Tiemann <>
Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 12:04:39 -0700

Very well said!!  I would also add that a BSD license permits software
to be removed from the community, and hence from me in some future

This reminds me of a poster I saw the other day about Navaho (American
Indian) law: The council must consider the implications of its decisions
upon the next seven generations.  Far be it for me to get this list
side-tracked into a discussion about sustainable environmental policies,
but I think the GPL is more 7-generation-friendly than BSD.


Russell Nelson wrote:
> Ben Laurie writes:
>  > I absolutely don't understand (or agree with) this view that publishing
>  > something under BSD can somehow lead to it being taken away from me.
>  > How? Show me the mechanism!
> A programmer wishes to build a free software business.  Let's call him
> J. Random Tiemann.  He writes a C++ compiler.  Now he has to choose a
> license for this compiler: MIT or GPL.  If he puts it under the MIT
> license, then when a microprocessor company ports it to their
> processor (either by themselves, or by going to Tiemann's
> competition), they can choose to keep it private.  Now, Tiemann's
> company (call it Sungis) cannot sell support for that version of the
> compiler.  Worse, they cannot use that version to build a compiler for
> a similar, but competing microprocessor from a different company.
> Yes, Sungis still has the original compiler, however their competition
> has the full benefit of it WITHOUT any obligation to give a copy back
> to Sungis.  I don't care if you want to call that "taken away from me"
> or not.  From a businessman's perspective, my code has been used to
> give a proprietary advantage to my competition.  That makes the MIT
> license completely unacceptable for code written by a free software
> business.  Of course, *any* business would like to be subsidized, so
> anybody would love a publicly-spirited group to write MIT-licensed
> software.  But it's not something I'd build a business model on.
> --
> -russ nelson <>
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