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Subject:
From:
Simon Wright <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Simon Wright <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Fri, 23 Feb 2001 20:26:21 +0000
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> From: Bob Leif

> Go ahead and write software under the GPL if you want, Allchin
> said. But don't let that happen with publicly funded software
> projects, such as the work done at major research universities. It's
> fine to let that kind of work take place under licenses that put the
> research software into the public domain, he said, but don't
> constrain developers from using it to create proprietary
> software. The GPL is a deterrent to private innovation, he said -- a
> wrecker of intellectual property.
>
> I totally agree with Allchin. In fact, the most interesting part of
> this to me as an exacademic, is that the GPL is a significant threat
> to the jobs of the university administrators who are in charge of
> commercializing intellectual property. If the faculty uses the GPL,
> the administrators can become redundant. In fact, I am shocked that
> any university administration would not claim rights to this
> important intellectual property (software) produced by their
> faculty. I might note that if the administrators were smart enough
> to see the value of software, they might also insist that it be
> produced in a competent manner. The use of Ada could help their
> bottom line.

This is complete twaddle (I would use stronger language, but this is a
public forum).

OK, I'm writing from the UK, but .. I don't see any reason why public
funding should be used to support private gain. If you want to make
private profits, go and do your own research! I would have expected
Americans to hold such a view even more strongly.

If the University of Oxford wanted to require its members to issue
software under the GPL to the world, but under another license to the
University or its customers, it would be perfectly entitled to require
this under the employment contract, and there is NOTHING in the GPL
that can possibly prevent this.

If Microsoft wanted to negotiate a license with an academic, or her
university, why shouldn't they? That way the public purse gets
specific reimbursement from the people making the profits.

From over the seas,

-S

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