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Sender: "Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2001 13:31:08 -0800
Reply-To: Al Christians <[log in to unmask]>
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Organization: Trillium Resources Corporation
From: Al Christians <[log in to unmask]>
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"W. Wesley Groleau x4923" wrote:
> It just occurred to me: M$ claimed GPL code is unfair competition,
> but maybe their real objection is "The GPL won't let us steal it."
> After all, it's nearly impossible to prevent someone from giving
> away code.  But it is NOT impossible to prevent the enforcement
> of a license like GPL.

I like the GPL, but one aspect of it does make it a license to help
one's self by helping one's self.

Suppose I create some GPL code, and because my work is high-value, I
license it to one of my customers for a very high price under GPL.
They get the right to redistribute it, so they don't have to worry
about getting additional licensing from me if they need to share it
with business partners, auditors, third-party contractors, etc. But
they don't have to, and since my product gives them a big competitive
advantage, they won't. Because I don't want to hurt my customers, I
won't give it to anyone else, either.   But if a copy mysteriously
turns up on a competitor's machine,  GPL says that's fine.  GPL gives
us no way to get that code back or get compensated for it, even though
I only gave it to X, and X didn't use his GPL rights and never gave it
to anyone.  All copies of GPL code are legit under GPL.  This is very
good in most cases, since we don't have to worry about obtaining a
clean title to everything we download that says GPL, but it makes
certain types of commercial use problematic.