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Re: Microsoft needs a help strategy

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: Microsoft needs a help strategy
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2009 14:29:02 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20081105)

amicus_curious wrote:
But they could and would do that anyway without the GPL.

The device makers found that GPLed software was suited to
their needs, and therefore the users have the source code
available to them for modification. That is not the case
with many other devices, where modification is difficult
because binaries need to be hacked.

But a patent does not allow anyone to copy the technology protected therein for free. Disclosure of source and release from copyright does do that.

The GPL is not "release from copyright" but it does allow
anyone to use the licensed code for free once they obtain
it. Anyone who finds that to be a problem should not use
this license.

Well they are also trying to extort some money from the
> violators, too.

Violators must be punished because there must be a penalty
for violation beyond coming into compliance, to discourage
people from not complying until they are caught.

The only people they are nabbing are the inadvertent
> violators of the licenses.

No, because violators are always contacted first and asked
to come into compliance. It's only the onces who fail to do
so who are then sued in court.

Realistically, there isn't anything in the FOSS arsenal that is truely marketable on a licensing basis. They might be preventing some ease of copying a lot of ho-hum code from existing sources and forcing a re-write of a proprietary version of the same thing although Java and .NET system classes have gone a long way to eliminate that need.

If you don't want to use free software no one is forcing you to
do so. Forcing people to rewrite code that they could otherwise
have under the GPL is good.

I want my customers to benefit from using my software. They might be able to do something that they couldn't otherwise do at all or else might save a lot of money doing it my way instead of some previous way. In either case it is only fair to ask them to pay some small share of the benefits that they receive in return for my innovation and effort. The FSF, in the guise of Stallman, specifically believes that I somehow owe the world my invention.

The FSF believes that your users should have the freedom to run,
read, modify, and share the software they receive. Other authors
of GPLed software believe the same. It is OK if you do not, but
then you should not expect to receive any benefits from those who
do. That's only fair - you should not believe that authors of GPLed
software owe the world their inventions. They don't owe you anything
and they don't want you to use their code if you are going to deny
your users the four freedoms.

The GPL lures the ignorant and unsophisticated developers into a trap. It is a cancer.

That's good. The fewer ignorant and unsophisticated developers there
are, the better. I would much rather have software developed by people
who are knowledgeable and refined.

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