Subject: Re: EROS license
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 28 Jun 1999 02:11:57 -0400

   From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
   Date: Mon, 28 Jun 1999 14:56:43 +0900 (JST)

   Suppose that Peter Deutch were to abandon the Aladdin license, and
   release all versions of Ghostscript immediately under the GPL.  His
   business model still requires dual licensing, printer or fax
   manufacturers might very well wish to statically link Ghostscript, or
   modules of it, with proprietary code in ROM, code that the GPL would
   require them to publish.  Further, let's assume that all of the
   proprietary code was already written, and only a negligible amount of
   trivial interface glue is needed.

   Would you have a problem with that?  It is certainly something that
   you can't do with the Ghostscript code.

I don't think the GPL works for embedded systems.  I think embedded
systems in general are a serious problem for free software.

It's true that it would bother me less if the only purpose to having a
proprietary version of the code were to put it in embedded systems.


One interesting problem with free software in embedded systems is the
liability issue.  I think most people can grasp that if you change the
software in an ordinary computer program, and it doesn't work, you
have only yourself to blame.  However, if I change the software in my
car, and I manage to screw up my brakes, and I wind up in the
hospital, the car manufacturer might have some liability for not
making the system sufficiently idiot-proof.

Ian