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Article:
  The Strange Case of the Disappearing Open Source Vendors
Subject:   Essay sidesteps the demonstrable corrosive effects of some licenses
Date:   2002-06-29 13:09:07
From:   timoreilly
Response to: Essay sidesteps the demonstrable corrosive effects of some licenses

Brett, I do share your preference for BSD-style licenses, and if GPL-oriented developers are trying to take advantage of their users with a contract that they don't fully understand, I would share your concern. (I have seen this in some cases, and in fact cited one in a past article on this subject, where the developer was exulting that his bosses didn't understand what he was doing by GPLing the code.) But I believe that most GPL software developers are in fact quite ethical, even idealistic, and most users understand the consequences fairly well. The GPL is a reasonable choice for many situations.


I'll also point that all those millions of PCs you cite as dwarfing software built for use rely quite heavily on that very software. As I've been pointing out ad nauseam since 1998, any one of them that uses the internet relies at least on Bind, and likely on Sendmail, Apache, and Perl as well, for much of its work. The Microsoft TCP/IP stack was adapted from the Berkeley stack, and much of this software, developed in and shared by the commons, has made its way into proprietary commercial software.


As to your claim that many software startups have failed as a result of the GPL, you must balance that with the numbers of proprietary software startups that have also failed. It's a case of Sturgeon's law, not of some unique failing of the GPL. The history of the high tech industry is littered with failures; they are the soil from which new startups grow.


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  1. Comments sidesteps the point of this article???
    2002-06-30 19:43:59  mintslice [View]

    • Not at all.
      2002-07-06 13:42:51  brettglass [View]

      • Not at all.
        2002-07-17 21:31:56  john_betelgeuse [View]

  2. Essay sidesteps the demonstrable corrosive effects of some licenses
    2002-06-29 14:12:03  brettglass [View]

    • Essay sidesteps the demonstrable corrosive effects of some licenses
      2002-06-30 13:17:28  yodaiken [View]

    • Essay sidesteps the demonstrable corrosive effects of some licenses
      2002-06-29 21:40:25  demoryw [View]

      • Essay sidesteps the demonstrable corrosive effects of some licenses
        2002-06-29 22:16:51  brettglass [View]

        • So called: corrosive effects are not demonstratable.
          2002-07-17 21:39:47  john_betelgeuse [View]

        • Essay sidesteps the demonstrable corrosive effects of some licenses
          2002-06-29 22:47:55  demoryw [View]

1 to 2 of 2