Subject: Re: Open Source and Gov Funding
From: Peter Wayner <>
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 11:43:57 -0400

>In a typical academic grant the fruits become public property.  Here the
>government is handing out money to private companies to foster some
>goal(US tech advancement, military prepardness, you name it...)  One
>might expect them to require you to release the fruits to all.  Instead
>they seem to foster the creation of commerical entities that can support
>and develop the concepts further.  In theory it sounds good, but maybe
>the current practice is not the best.  The people might be better served
>by allowing any company to pickup the work and support/develop it
>further.  Then the gov/military/private sector can use the developed
>tech further.

You could always sell the CD-ROMs with a royalty-free source license 
for cost plus $0.01. Then you would be technically profitable.

  Kirk McKusick told a similar story about releasing the BSD source 
(It's in <i> Free for All </i>).  He said that they placed a pricetag 
of $1000 for the source code tape and released it with the BSD 
license. He expected that one person would pay them $1000 and then 
put the tape on an ftp server. The BSD license permitted that. 
Instead  more than 200 companies purchased a tape-- something that 
surprised them. It was mainly so managers could have a piece of paper 
that said, "I bought this. This is mine. I've got a license. I didn't 
get it from some fly-by-night Warez server."

There's nothing wrong with putting a low price on a BSD-style source 
code license.