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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
Laurent Guerby <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 9 Jan 1998 11:53:54 +0100
<[log in to unmask]> (message from Mike Brenner on Thu, 8 Jan 1998 16:29:46 -0500)
text/plain (39 lines)
> Yes, how did a program designed to put code out to the public
> result in proprietary code? Did anyone ever figure out the
> history of this?

   Just following a variant of the little scenario I presented in my
   previous message:

   1. Write some code funded by government

   2. Once it meets government contract clauses, make it public domain,
      and get the taxpayer bugs.

   3. Get the public version, put a big copyright on it, then maintain
      this copyrighted version and put a big price on this new proprietary

   4. Taxpayer wants to use the work produced with his money in stage
      2, but the latest Ada technology find bugs in the software
      (erroneous execution that happened to work with old technology),
      ask the company about a fix, company say it is fixed in their
      product version available at <insert big price here>. Too bad
      for taxpayer money.

   Again, the _only_ way to prevent this scenario is to use the GPL or
   the modifed GPL for libraries so you can get back the sources.

   Other license mentionned don't prevent this to happen to my
   knowledge. Again, if you're commited to the free software world,
   just use the (modified) GPL, it's designed for giving this
   protection, and you have FSF support.

PS: The GNAT government contract required GPL to be used, see the
paper on the GNAT project on <>. The scenario I
just described is also mentionned there.

Laurent Guerby <[log in to unmask]>, Ada Core Technologies Europe.
   "Use the Source, Luke. The Source will be with you, always (GPL)."