Subject: Re: Here's a-what I'm a-gonna do.
From: Michael Tiemann <>
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 1996 16:37:27 -0700

    As far as I know, Cygnus, John's company, is the only substantial
    business that doesn't fall into one of the above cases.  I still
    can't understand how Cygnus, and only Cygnus, can generate enough
    excess revenue to support the overhead of a good-size business
    solely by doing support and contract development of GNU-Licensed
    software.  Or does Cygnus also generate revenue by developing
    non-free software?

Well, Cygnus has yet to offer a single product that derives any $$ on
licensing fees.  We have substantially tightened up our support contract
wording that has the effect of a strong licensing agremeent, but only if
you want support.  While the relationship may be terminated, the freedom
to use the software remains.

I think that the reason for Cygnus's success is because we have chosen
to use the free software model largely as a means rather than an end.
This has meant a frustrating wait on the sidelines of Linux while the
market sorts out what it wants (I CAN'T WAIT!), but it has meant a
really successful ride on GNU, due to the nature of the market and our
ability to drive solutions into the heart of the problem.

Now, given what I said about ends and means, one might conclude that if
the right chance came along, we'd do something proprietary.  There's no
easy answer to that question, just as there's no easy answer to a sound
policy for the use of military force.  In the mean time, our fundamental
strategy continues to win favor in the market, the measure of success we
set forth in the beginning.