Subject: Re: Ransom (long) (was: Mandatory donations...)
From: "Karsten M. Self" <>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2001 00:58:50 -0700
Mon, 15 Oct 2001 00:58:50 -0700
on Mon, Oct 15, 2001 at 03:38:58AM -0400, Adam Theo ( wrote:
> Karsten M. Self wrote:
> > Of itself, ransomed coded is actually a practice in use.  I know
> > several people who've written mods to GPLd code, advertised same,
> > and requested payment.
> Excellent! Do you remember any cases of this? I'm wanting to completely 
> document these growing stages of Ransom, as an experiment log, of sorts. 
> Others, similar cases would be very helpful in developing this model 
> further.

In general, the application area has been driver development.  A
developer uses some device, writes (or improves) a driver for it.  This
was communicated to the manufacturer.

Given that the GPL is an affirmative license (the GPL does not coopt
your copyright, it terminates if you don't grant it), the code could be
demonstrated to the manufacturer without a grant of copyright.  If the
quality, functionality, and other parameters were met, there isn't an
appropriation risk (at least not a legally executed one).

This was a few years back, before the world changed, and all that.
Companies might have been mor ewilling to pay for freelance development
than today.  Too, the folks I knew who were doing this have good and
established creds.

This isn't a get-rich quick scheme.  It is a way for a good developer to
pick up a spare contract.  I also see it as more a protocol than a


Karsten M. Self <>
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