GPL and LGPL question

Pat St. Jean psj at
Wed May 19 14:07:47 UTC 1999

On Tue, 18 May 1999, Bruce Perens wrote:

>> Protecting one's right to  
>> share code by removing one's right not to doesn't seem like a Good  
>> Thing to me.  
>You're not considering the unpaid contributor. If my only choice was
>a license like the BSD, I would contribute a lot less. The protective
>provisions of the GPL are what make the difference between my putting
>in work for the community and my being the unpaid patsy of anyone who
>wants to take advantage of my work and not give a thing back to the
>public or me.

I'm sorry you feel that way.  Check the Linux kernel archives.  I sent in
a bunch of patches last year (early on) to update and improve the x86 CPU
detection.  I gave up BECAUSE of the GPL.  I can't make any money off of
that code with programs that I DON'T want to release the source for.  I
was stupid, and shoudn't have done it.

>There's no sensible reason for me to be a contributor to Apple, Netscape,
>or Red Hat. The reason I do it is because the GPL guarantees that my work
>is for the _public_.

And they don't?  It seems to me that you could contribute whatever you
want.  You'll still have rights to the code.

>Think about how different the world would have been if Mosaic had been
>under the GPL.

Yeah, someone else would have filled in the niche with a commercial
product.  Face it, when Netscape came out, nobody in the commercial world
would have accepted a source-code available, build it yourself broser.  It
wasn't the right time, and that window of opportunity has closed...


Patrick St. Jean              '97 XLH 883                psj at
Programmer & Systems Administrator                    +1 713-977-4177 x115
Larson Software Technology              

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