Subject: Re: A few here may have an opinion on this
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 23:42:53 +0000

Maybe I'm just in a grumpy mood but
I think government tilting the playing field
against GPL is perfectly reasonable. So far, 
free software has been an utter failure at 
producing large profitable businesses that 
generate tax revenue.  Government legislating
in favor of GPL will push more of the software
business into the non-profit sector and make
us all poorer.

> On Wednesday, Oct 23, 2002, at 11:55 US/Pacific, Benjamin J. Tilly 
> wrote:
> > Brian Behlendorf <> wrote:
> >> On Wed, 23 Oct 2002, Benjamin J. Tilly  wrote:
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> A Washington State senator is trying to make it government
> >>> policy to not support research that produces GPLed
> >>> software...
> >>
> >> Everyone knows my biases, but I think there's a pretty reasonable 
> >> point
> >> here.  A "university" license would, in my opinion, be the most
> >> appropriate license for government-funded software to be released 
> >> under.
> >>
> > This movement is specifically aimed at keeping the
> > government from distributing things like its security
> > enhancements for the Linux kernel.
> You raise a very good point that I hadn't seen the first time around.
> In general I agree with Brian's point (I prefer GPL but I'm OK with the 
> gov't using BSD instead).
> But the gov't pays companies (Lockheed, SAIC, IBM, MS) to modify their 
> proprietary software for gov't requirements; those changes end up as 
> part of the vendor's offering (generally such changes wouldn't make 
> sense on their own).  Likewise the gov't needs the ability to make 
> changes, or contract for changes, to GPL software as with your example. 
>   Such changes _can't_ be released under the BSD license -- it would be 
> prohibited by the GPL.
> So this appears to be reasonable, but really does suck.
> Yet another in a furious attempt by the government to shift software 
> development offshore.  I guess in five years' time we'll have direct 
> government subsidy to the software industry, as happens in other sunset 
> industries like steel.
> -g