Subject: Re: Free Software and the Fortune 250
From: Frank Hecker <frank@collab.net>
Date: Thu, 06 Jul 2000 19:57:29 +0000

Brian Behlendorf wrote:
> On Thu, 6 Jul 2000 kmself@ix.netcom.com wrote:
> > The sticker is licensing, specifically the GNU GPL -- pushback we're
> > getting is that the prospect doesn't accept licenses whose terms it
> > can't modify.
> 
> "whose terms it can't modify"?!  Does that mean it doesn't buy software at
> all?  Generally speaking, you can't modify a license without consent of
> the other party anyways, so either this company writes all its own
> software or they like the ability to "wheel and deal" and look at the
> license (or other contract) as a starting point in a negotiation.

Just as a point of information, negotiating software licenses is fairly
common when proprietary software companies do large deals with Fortune
500 or Global 2000 corporations; at Netscape we had lawyers assigned to
the field sales group just to do that sort of thing. As you say, the
standard End User License Agreement is just the "starting point in a
negotiation".

Also, if we're talking about code here which Karsten's company actually
wrote then there's no reason why the customer couldn't do a specially
negotiated license agreement if they really wanted to (and in fact
Karsten mentions this as an option). However I agree that that should be
a last resort, and that you should first just test the customer's
willingness to accept the GPL.

Frank
-- 
Frank Hecker            work: http://www.collab.net/
frank@collab.net        home: http://www.hecker.org/