alex at alex.org.uk
Thu Sep 15 11:50:41 UTC 2005
--On 15 September 2005 13:18 +0200 Chris Zumbrunn <chris at czv.com> wrote:
> But ten years down the road, the ID could again produce a proprietary
> product from that fork, while the poor guy that maintained the fork for
> these years can't.
Yes. But the likelihood is that the proprietary version will have additional
features in (or anyone can produce such a version). The likelihood of being
able to maintain those across a forked tree diminishes over time.
You are correct of course that the ID has "an advantage" here. Remember
though, in the case where the ID's code is originally a large closed-source
project, the ID is, in return for that advantage, open-sourcing a lot
of code to the communities advantage. We recognize that people may not say
"that's a fair swap", in which case they need not contribute. Remember
also that the ID will be putting into the community a whole lot of things
that are *not* copyrightable (or, at least over here, patentable), and
are currently only protected as trade secrets - there's nothing to stop
community members who don't like the bargain going and generating a
competing product based upon the same ideas.
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