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Date:      Wed, 12 May 1999 20:02:24 -0700
From:      "David Schwartz" <davids@webmaster.com>
To:        <cjclark@home.com>, "G. Adam Stanislav" <adam@whizkidtech.net>
Cc:        <freebsd-chat@FreeBSD.ORG>
Subject:   RE: Richard Stallman came to town
Message-ID:  <000001be9ced$06e0a380$021d85d1@whenever.youwant.to>
In-Reply-To: <199905130247.WAA11499@cc942873-a.ewndsr1.nj.home.com>

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> IMHO, GNU has a place in the world. I personally don't go to the
> extreme that _all_ software should be GNU, but I do think that the
> existence of GNU or a foundation actively trying to increase the pool
> of GNU software is not evil. It's just another choice for people who
> write programs.

	The evil comes from two sources. First, there are programmers who GPL their
code without a clear understanding of what they're doing. Second, GNU is not
just about voluntarily licensing one's source code under certain terms, it's
also about legal changes that aim to eliminate the entire concept of
intellectual property.

	It is my firm belief that the net effect of GNU and the GPL/GLL is to
decrease the quality of software and create many 'everybody loses'
scenarios. I have personally seen this happen too many times to count.

	For example, just recently a project I was involved in required a database
much like 'gdbm'. There were a few features that we needed that gdbm did not
offer, and had we decided to use gdbm, we would gladly have made those
enhancements available to the community -- our product is not a database, so
there would be no competitive issues.

	However, gdbm's license was, unfortunately, too restrictive for us. As a
result, so we developed an in-house database on top of proprietary base
code, the path of least resistance for us.

	It's not as good as gdbm would have been with our improvements. The
community will not benefit from our effort, since even if we wanted to
release the database, we don't have the rights to relase the core code we
built it on.

	Everybody loses. This is typical. This is intentional.

	DS



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