Subject: Cygnus [was Re: the walls have ears]
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 1999 10:47:14 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "DJ" == DJ Delorie <> writes:

    >> but several of the practices under discussion in other threads
    >> (such as the Cygnus and ACT practice of requesting that
    >> customers not redistribute their commercial products, and
    >> possibly the dual licensing policy of Aladdin)

    DJ> I know it's been said before, but I feel it needs saying
    DJ> again, especially given the above context.

Perhaps it is just me.  I had gotten the impression from past comments
(from _former_ Cygnus employees, who justifiably were cautious about
appearing to represent the company) that there was no firm denial of
the statement that "Cygnus requests no redistribution," only of the
statement that "Cygnus uses licensing terms or other carrots and
sticks to discourage redistribution."

I apologize for perpetuating the misconception.

    DJ> Cygnus DOES NOT request that customers not distribute our
    DJ> commercial products.

That's clear enough even for me.  The shouting may even be justified.

    DJ> In fact, we make a point of informing our customers of their
    DJ> rights wrt free software.

This is the first time that I have seen this statement.

    DJ> The fact that our customers usually don't redistribute anyway
    DJ> is independent of our actions and influence.

The claim that others have made is that _no_ such redistribution has
yet occurred.  That is a pretty curious fact, if true, especially
since the briefing you provide on free software is evidently more
substantial than simply handing them the GPL.  I do not draw any
conclusions, unlike some others, beyond the fact that there may be
some common explanation for everyone making the same decision.

I am curious as to your assessment of their motives, if you would be
willing to state it.  Is it simply that in general their needs are
sufficiently specialized that they see no point in even thinking about

This doesn't seem like it would apply to the professional GNU C/C++
development environment (GNUPro Tools or something like that).  Do you
think they see having it as a competitive advantage, and thus do not
want to redistribute?  Or is it "we had to pay for it so we won't help
anyone else (competitor or not)?"

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