Subject: Re: GPL Compliance Toolset
From: Greg Broiles <gbroiles@netbox.com>
Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2003 09:05:19 -0800

On Mon, Jan 13, 2003 at 11:07:36AM -0800, Chip Mefford wrote:
> [...]
> As I work in a UCITA state (Va) I got hoarse screaming about
> this a long time ago.
> 
> In short, "Open Source" isn't enough. If it isn't GNU software,
> fully and completely, then the cost of dealing with compliance
> alone should be enough to offset any other cost modeling.
> Bring UCITA into the equation, look carefully at the liability
> issues, and it really becomes a no-brainer.

Your claim that "If UCITA is a terrible danger, we must all use
GPL software" is logically reasonable.

The difficult part is that most people reject your premise - they
do not believe that UCITA is a terrible danger - so they never
hear the rest of your argument.

You can spend a lot of time trying to convince people that the
terrible danger exists, but that's a relatively thankless
task, and doesn't leave you with a lot of credibility left over
to then go on to convince them to adopt your proposed response
to the danger.

I don't think that tactic will succeed unless or until there's
a significant public perception that UCITA is a credible 
threat. 

If you want people to use GPL software, I think it would work
better to point out the ways that it solves problems that are
actually bothering people now, not pointing out things that
they should be bothered about.

(Or, if you want to convince them that UCITA is very bad, that's
OK, too, but it probably damages your credibility when you 
then say that there's something - which you happen to be a
big supporter of - which would solve the problem you're trying
to educate them about, because that makes you sound like a
sneaky salesman, not like a helpful advisor.) 

--
Greg Broiles
gbroiles@parrhesia.com