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

>>>>> "Benj" == Benj Mako Hill <mako@debian.org> 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     http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
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