Subject: Re: the walls have ears
Date: 31 May 1999 20:19:25 -0000

>If you can't see that that's a straw man....  Sigh.
>You will never hear the relevant anecdote you're asking for.

Just thought I'd thank Brian Behlendorf for kindly providing an example
of exactly the anecdote Stephen claimed was a "straw man".  (Since I'd
seen that very claim thrown out as a reason GPL wouldn't be as good as
BSD in past years, I knew it had at least *some* validity, even though
*my* response to it would have been, "then take the better product,
and strip the source code off the disks before you let anyone else
get their hands on it".  The attitude represented by that anecdote is,
IMO, a close cousin to the one I see in people choosing MS products
for everything -- "it simplifies my life to get my software from one
vendor", which has much more validity, and, as such, provides a
strong incentive for preferring BSD/X11/MIT-style licensing over GPL
when it comes to meeting the needs of *those* kinds of customers, who
don't mind, in fact apparently like, paying extra to be locked in to a
single vendor, something that's easier to achieve via proprietary

(Oh, and, there's also the security-through-obscurity argument, which
is also more valid than the convenience-through-obscurity one characterized
by my anecdote: "if I use software that comes with source code, that
means my competitors, their spies, and random crackers will know more
about my facility, because *they* have the source code too, than if I
use proprietary software which has the source locked up tight".  Though
I use the phrase "more valid" in a very strict mathematical sense here,
as in "cutting off your nose to spite your face is more valid than
cutting off someone else's nose to achieve the same effect".)

        tq vm, (burley)