Subject: Re: Sun, BSD, and GNU
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 1999 18:01:01 +0900 (JST)

Craig Brozefsky wrote:

    >> Leveraged it into Free Software, or leveraged it into
    >> proprietary software?  Which license lets companies leverage
    >> free software into proprietary code with the most profit
    >> return, is not a question I think is worth pursuing,
    >> particularly in a "Free Software Business" context, since by
    >> definitions such companies would not be Free Software
    >> companies.

Where is it written that a free software company must produce _only_
free software?  I'm willing to stipulate that for discussion on this
list[1], but only after predicting

     If you insist on considering only "pure" free software businesses
     to be free software businesses at all, then your lunch is going
     to get eaten by free software written by non-free-software
     businesses.

My experience on one Linux users' group list strongly suggests that if 
a company produces a hit free software application, people will
consider them a free software company, with all the advertising
benefits that gives.  Most of the members on that list have only a
slight preference for free software, in the sense that they would not
wait for a free version if a proprietary version of an app they use
was available at the right price.  Furthermore, in the future pretty
much everybody would carefully (and repeatedly) investigate free
software versions of the same app, but would not switch if their
functionality needs weren't met to a similarly high degree.


Footnotes: 
[1]  But you can bet I'll be more than happy to consult for
non-free-software companies that want to expand their free software
activities.

-- 
University of Tsukuba                Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences       Tel/fax: +81 (298) 53-5091
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What are those two straight lines for?  "Free software rules."