Subject: Re: GPL business practice question
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 18 Jun 1999 15:21:34 -0400

   Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1999 11:40:13 -0700
   From: =?iso-8859-1?Q?Stig_Hackv=E4n?= <stig@hackvan.com>

   I'm looking for examples of companies using the GPL while at the same time NOT
   RELEASING THEIR SOFTWARE PUBLICLY in the way that gpled software is usually
   distributed... 

You mean, besides Cygnus?  Cygnus does release their sources
publically, but not the exact sources they send to their customers,
nor at the same time.

   I've heard that there are some very high-value software packages that are like
   this...customers get full source and the GPL, but it's not in their interests
   to redistribute the software, so they don't.  Did this sitation arise because
   of the goodwill and trusting relationship in theis software transactions, or
   was the vendor stuck with the GPL because they used GPLed software in their
   product?

I expect you'll find that in most such cases the vendor was forced to
use the GPL.  If the only intent is to provide source code to
customers, the GPL is overkill.  Of course, I would be interested to
hear of a counter-example.

   Also, i recall that there's something unique about the delayed public release
   approach employed by the developers of a GPLed ADA implementation.  right?

My understanding is that ACT releases ADA compiler snapshots under the
GPL, but requests their customers to not redistribute them.  In fact,
I have heard ACT may even cancel support contracts if their customers
redistribute the snapshots.  This is definitely hearsay, and I do not
know if it is true (I do know that Cygnus does not do this).

Ian