Subject: Re: Ransom GPL Licensing: ethically and legally viable?
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: 16 Feb 2003 17:00:44 +0900

>>>>> "Benj" == Benj Mako Hill <> writes:

    Benj> even non-free licenses designed by well intentioned people

This captures both of my misgivings about the Ransom License approach:
it's non-free, and it's designed with good intentions in mind.  In
particular I see potential for resentment among customers at the price
discrimination, and conflicts of interest with any other stakeholders
in the firm (investors, obviously, but also non-developer employees).
It had better be a pretty good document to bind potentially hostile
stakeholders (eg, in a bankruptcy).

I think that rather than develop a new Ransom License, why not simply
assign to the FSF, effective at some future date, possibly even
counting from commercial release date?  The only real objection I can
come up with is that the developer and the FSF may disagree about the
interpretation of the grant-back clause in the standard assignment,
and presumably that would be negotiable.

Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
               Ask not how you can "do" free software business;
              ask what your business can "do for" free software.