Subject: Re: Who holds the copyright? (was Re: The merger: a user's perspective)
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 16:30:48 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "Bradley" == Bradley M Kuhn <> writes:

    Bradley> Stan Shebs wrote:
    >> Ah, very good point, I should have remembered about those.  In
    >> the worst case, you'd end up with something like the Ghostcript
    >> situation, where free versions lag proprietary, but even that
    >> presumes that the company can develop faster and better than
    >> the community.

    Bradley> How do we know *any* of it will ever be released as free
    Bradley> software if they become a proprietary software company.

Because they can't take back the stuff that's already been released
under GPL, and they are to a great extent locked-in to the existing
APIs, making cloning of new features that much easier.

Not perfectly easy, but Stan covered that by mentioning a lag.

Unlike Microsoft, with a long history of destroying API compatibility
with the flimsiest of pretexts, open source companies abusing their
power over own-copyright software will take a big hit in the customer
confidence department.  So it would have to be a really killer
improvement to justify anything worse than a Ghostscript-style
mildly-non-free with a quick transition to free policy.

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."