[LINK] GPL .. good or bad?
tomk at unwired.com.au
Thu Apr 30 23:20:39 EST 2009
> -----Original Message-----
> From: link-bounces at mailman1.anu.edu.au
> [mailto:link-bounces at mailman1.anu.edu.au] On Behalf Of
> Richard Chirgwin
> Sent: Thursday, 30 April 2009 7:08 PM
> To: link at anu.edu.au
> Subject: Re: [LINK] GPL .. good or bad?
> Tom Koltai wrote:
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: link-bounces at mailman1.anu.edu.au
> >> [mailto:link-bounces at mailman1.anu.edu.au] On Behalf Of
> >> stephen at melbpc.org.au
> >> Sent: Thursday, 30 April 2009 4:15 PM
> >> To: link at anu.edu.au
> >> Subject: [LINK] GPL .. good or bad?
> >> GPL: why Eric Raymond is wrong
> >> by Sam Varghese, Thursday, 30 April 2009
> >> http://www.itwire.com/content/view/24739/1231
> >> Snip>
> >> The Economic Case Against the GPL http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=928
> Who said "wise"? :-)
> But I'm not sure I agree with the premise anyhow.
> First: the reason I've eventually swapped to Linux had
> nothing to do with the philosophies of open source, and nor
> with getting the software for nothing. I swapped because
> Windows became unbearably painful to use: four hours with
> Vista was all I needed.
> Second: I also use an open source geographic system called
> Grass-GIS. It's got a code base stretching back more than 20
> years. So the inevitable gravity towards commercial software
> somehow hasn't killed this particular project.
Probably because Government Departmnents standardised on it for EA
leases in the 80's.
(NT Dept of Mines and Energy comes to mind and I think the WA Land
Titles Office. (but don't quote me.... Mind getting feeble).
> Third: How can markets punish the free project? They can't.
> There can be users, or non-users, but there is no
> "punishment", at least not in the sense that the markets
> punished other spreadsheets for not being Excel.
Its not punishment that is the problem. It's the lack of
revenue/dividend for the financial imput from the investor community -
there is none - therefore its ghard near impossible to obtain research
funding for a pure GPL model - unbless - A government department
mandates it - ot a university "rides it - eg Curtin Etherman to GeoBoy
1992-1997 then sell-off.
> But there's another issue at work in the Eric Raymond
> article. With great skill, he manages to blur the issue so as
> to use a discussion of the economic funding model to attack
> the licensing model.
> It is, in fact, garbled reasoning. Economic efficiency is
> only adequate to measure economic units; it cannot measure
> the externals.
I think the issues Eric refers to are are the measurable efficiencies of
using software product a with a highly developed manual and process tree
trsted over millions of users although I don't think he clarifies that
(assumption on my part).
The funny thing is - I believe in GPL in regards to Music and fair use
in regards to youtube.
I have been having discussions with a muso who sells exclusively via the
He has provided with an intersting insite into his busines.
Within the last 18 months his sales have gone up 500%.
With no advertising - (beyond his web page) no recording company
contracts and no payolla to radio stations.
There is a place for GPL and a place for Commercial - in a previous
email Kim Houlbourne identified TomTom as a place for both.
I think the easiest way to settle the discussion is with a quote from
The more complex societies get and the more complex the networks of
interdependence within and beyond community and national borders get,
the more people are forced in their own interests to find non-zero-sum
solutions. That is, win-win solutions instead of win-lose solutions....
Because we find as our interdependence increases that, on the whole, we
do better when other people do better as well - so we have to find ways
that we can all win, we have to accommodate each other.... Bill Clinton,
Wired interview, December 2000 .
> > Tom
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