Subject: Re: A few here may have an opinion on this
From: Simo Sorce <>
Date: 24 Oct 2002 10:14:27 +0200
24 Oct 2002 10:14:27 +0200
On Wed, 2002-10-23 at 23:43, DV Henkel-Wallace wrote:
> On Wednesday, Oct 23, 2002, at 11:55 US/Pacific, Benjamin J. Tilly 
> wrote:

> 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.

Hello all, I've been quiet since my subscription, plus I'm not US
Citizen, so this matter is not of much impoortance to me now, if not
that generally there is this strange tendency in Europe to absorb only
the bad laws that get approved in the US (read DMCA->EUCD) :-)

I'm sorry but the statements quoted above are simply wrong.
First of all I think we are referring to the new BSD license which is
compatible with the GPL, otherwise forget my words.

As BSD license is compatible with GPL license, you can release
modification to a GPL work and use the BSD license on that parts, of
course you will need to release the whole work under GPL terms!

I take the ball and answer also some other questions on this list.

I'm not so sure that ASL and OSL are GPL compatible (I've not looked at
FSF page) but the fact that a Patent lawsuit on another piece of
software by the issuere cause termination of the license may not be
compatible with freedoms dictated by GPL (even if I like that Patent
related provisions).

Well about taxes, I think the arguments by Chris Maeda are just a bit
ingenuous and too focused on the Software market.
It may be true that Proprietary Software Product by itself may represent
higher tax income compared by a similar Free Software Product, but you
cannot look only at direct revenues to make a Govt. Policy.

1st of all you do not take in account all the business that rise around
free software in term of consultancy and customization (look IBM pay
taxes, instead I heard Microsoft always find a way to not do so ?!).

2nd, you should remember that software is a little market compared to
all other goods. All the rest of not-software market have to pay
licenses if software is proprietary! Well all that money are to be
subtracted in part from taxes people the buy this software pay to the
govt. (we have yet a big minus here), plus you do not calculate how much
business that money paid to big proprietary software giants, would
produce otherwise in term of reinvestment and price lowering and the
cascade effect that produces that finally end up in broadening the
markets and raising for sure more taxes.
All this far from perfect rant is only to show that it is not that easy
to say that a proprietary sw govt. policy would really create more tax
income instead of perhaps a chilling effect that may reduce taxes
collected on other markets that unfortunately depend on monopolistic
proprietary software producers.

hope to not be boring and my english not too bad,

Simo Sorce -
Xsec s.r.l.
via Durando 10 Ed. G - 20158 - Milano
tel. +39 02 2399 7130 - fax: +39 02 700 442 399

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