Subject: Re: ransom
From: Norbert Bollow <>
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2001 08:26:28 +0200

Tom Lord <> wrote:

> Any business model that involves paying people to do their job in 
> ways that are necessarily worse than what they're capable of is, at
> least, suboptimal.

I agree.  As soon as FreeDevelopers (which is committed to
making everything GPL'd) has gained the necessary momentum, and
invented an efficient organisational structure, then it will be
more efficient to develop GPL'd code within FreeDevelopers than
to develop copyleft ransomware outside of FreeDevelopers or a
similar organisation.

Right now the status of FreeDevelopers is that if you need some
software, and you're willing and able to pay for the
development, then FreeDevelopers can do it for you.  FD can
handle paid development projects of almost any size, and you'll
get the software that you paid for under the terms of GNU GPL.

In the long term, FreeDevelopers will also be able to handle
profit-oriented Free Software projects that are developed first
and marketed then, but we're not there yet.  The DotGNU project
(where I'm heavily involved) is not an example of such a project
-- we do DotGNU primarily for the sake of Freedom, and in DotGNU
the freedom-oriented objectives will always take priority over
all profit- or revenue-oriented objectives.

I think that right now, if you have a for-profit software
development project of the "develop first, market then" type,
the "copyleft ransomware" approach may be the best that is
currently available, even though it is admittedly suboptimal.

Greetings, Norbert.

A member of FreeDevelopers and the DotGNU Steering Committee:
Norbert Bollow, Weidlistr.18, CH-8624 Gruet   (near Zurich, Switzerland)
Tel +41 1 972 20 59       Fax +41 1 972 20 69
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