Subject Re: [IBDI] GPL
Author Paul Schmidt
On 15 Feb 2002, at 10:26, David K. Trudgett wrote:

> Second, you assume that "selling" software is the only way to make
> money from it. This is indeed not the case. Value added services have
> a big future ahead. Even IBM understands this: they intend to make a
> lot of money out of the GPL'd Linux.
> Third, you assume that third parties distributing your software at no
> cost to you is a bad thing. A moment's contemplation should show that,
> on the contrary, it could be a huge advantage.

It depends on the software, for software that is ubiquitous, then a
licence like the GPL can make a lot of sense, for other things, it
makes less sense, and for other things no sense. For example for
a database engine it makes sense, for the libraries that client that
engine, it makes less sense, because companies that would
consider using that engine, will pick another one, because of
licencing issues, which is one of the reasons why I don't like
MySQL, it's too much bother to figure out the licencing.

> > In some cases you don't have a
> > choice, if the library you want to use is GPL
> You always have a choice, as you even indicate yourself by using the
> word "want" instead of "need". You can't have your cake and eat it
> too. Not to put too fine a point on it, what your statement really
> means when you analyse it, is that it is very frustrating when you
> really want to steal some very neat software for your own purposes,
> but find that you can't unless you also contribute to it for the
> common benefit. When said outright like that, you might not agree, but
> the fact remains that that is the implication of your statement.

Not really, it's not the idea of theft, it's the idea of keeping your
options open why do you think Apple picked FreeBSD for basing
OS-X on, rather then Linux? Most likely because the BSL that
FreeBSD uses isn't as restrictive. Some "free" projects have fully
shot themselves in the foot, when a great piece of software was
abandoned because it would cost too much to fix the problems
with it, because the fixing could not be done commercially.

> > then you can't make
> > money off your work, and that isn't always a good thing. This is
> > why there are so many variants of the GPL like the MPL, IPL, etc.
> The MPL, IPL etc having nothing to do with the GPL. What gave you that
> idea?
> >
> > The problem with MySQLs commercial licence, is that it's too
> > expensive for a lot of stuff that MySQL would be good for.
> They are, of course, free to charge whatever they like for their
> product. They can also license it under any terms they wish. Their
> actual problem is that they are confused about licensing.

And that hurts their market, if the vendor is confused about
licensing, then given the choice between a straight forward licence
and a confusing one, which one would you rather choose?

> >
> > What it really comes down to, is we need to ask the question, who is
> > the typical Interbase commercial customer, and who is the typical
> > Firebird customer (forget the IB/OE, it's a non-starter)? Then
> > determine what are the alternate choices for those customers, and
> > how do we get them to use IB or FB.
> As a matter of interest, why do you want people to use IB or FB? I'm
> not being clever, it's a serious, straight-forward question.

Several reasons, one is that the more people use IB and FB, then
the more likely the people who work so hard putting it together, will
keep doing so.


Paul Schmidt
Tricat Technologies