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Re: Re: [OT] Software Freedom

Hi Raghu!

I don't get this. Your whole point in this mail was about GNu versus 
proprietary software. While Arun's regular crib is about GNU vs other 
Open Source licenses. Your whole point is about freedom vs restrictions.
Arun's points have always been GNU's freedom is not enough - we need more.

Every known vocal proponent of GPL have been unable to explain me one

Let me explain with an example:

 X is a "good guy" who believes in making software and giving it away
 with  no restrictions other than a "thank you" note. His software
 after some time comes to the attention of the capitalist "bad guy" Y,
 who decides to make money out of it. Y takes the sources, makes minor
 changes to it, packages it well and sells it as Y's own
 software. With the resultant money, Y puts in more work into the
 software and soon the result is really much better than the original
 software - the difference being that you got to pay through your nose
 for it. 

 Okay now let's take stock of the situation. 

 At the end of all this,

 Y's customers - who are willing to pay(and pay a lot) feel
 assured of buying the same software from Y, and the market dynamics
 ensures that these paying customers get the features *they* want in
 the software that they buy. Maybe not every new feature(but that is
 another story).

 X's software is still available for free. So all who don't want to pay
 for the software, want to change the software to their own liking, or
 want to distribute and make money out of the distribution - still can
 do it. Of course, it is inferior now, but that's the price you pay
 for such a system, where developers work in their own spare
 time. Maybe in this whole time , more work has gone inside it and it
 HAS become better.

 You get the analogy - I am talking about the BSD style licenses here.
 At the end of all this you have 
     customers of X + customers of Y reaping benefits from the
  software. To heck with how they are benifiting(by paying or non-paying)

 Now suppose X gives away his/her software under GPL. This ensures
 that Y doesn't get 
 away with selling the software in a closed manner. Y decides to stay
 away from it and develop similar software from scratch. okay maybe 1
 out of 50 "Y" kind of folks decide to make opensource GPLed software
 from the original X one.

 So at the end, you have 
   customers of X + 2% of customers of Y reaping benifit from the
   software. The rest 98% Y kinds of folks either duplicate the
   effort, or maybe steal GPL code ;), or simply don't find developing
   from scratch viable. 

So tell me, in the larger issue of benefit to the community which
licence is better? Where am I going wrong with my logic?

> The GPL never says that making money is a sin.  The GPL questions certain

But if you do make money, these same GNU folks leave no stone unturned
in castigating them. Look at RedHat, SuSE, VALinux etc.


Sandip Bhattacharya 
sandipb @ bigfoot.com