[LINK] GPL .. good or bad?

Tom Koltai tomk at unwired.com.au
Thu Apr 30 17:27:54 AEST 2009

> -----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
> In all worlds, markets seek efficiency, because investors are 
> constantly 
> seeking the best return on capital. Thus guarantees the most 
> efficient 
> system will win, eventually. The flip side of this is that 
> markets will 
> punish those who adopt the less efficient mode. They'll be 
> outcompeted. 
> Capital will flow away from them.
> <snip>
> If we live in "Type A" a universe where closed source is more 
> efficient, 
> markets will eventually punish people who take closed source 
> code open. 
> Markets will correspondingly reward people who take open 
> source closed. 
> In this kind of universe, open source is doomed; the GPL will be 
> subverted or routed around by efficiency-seeking investors as 
> surely as 
> water flows downhill.
> <snnip>

Unfortunately - this is the problem.

For open source to be successful - unfortunately it needs to be closed
before investors will consider it to be capable of providing them a

GPL release programmers havent yet learnt that the Akamai's and Junipers
of the world started with open source and raised their capital by
closing the GPL - and then tuning it.

When young programmers learn that their efforts at purely open source
will doom them to an old age that has lots of kudos, but few shekels
they are usually already old programmers.

But that is the way of the world, that we call capitalism. 

Wisdom comes from the realisation of mortality - what I call the creaky
bone sydneome - at about .... 45.

For those of you thinking on how I could say somehting as wise as
this...... Pretend I didn't.


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