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Re: [OS:N:] Why Microsoft was right about Linux

Chris Spencer wrote:
The GPL prevents people from using the code to build other projects upon
it that are not also GPL'd.

Yes. And that's the reason I've chosen to release it under GPL. It was MY choice as the code owner to protect MY intellectual property so it's not used against ME. I do not want to release code, and then have to buy it back again as part of some other project.

I also don't believe that you can "take back" GPL'd code. You can
certainly change your code and sell it under a different license (IE: Mysql) but once you release it under the GPL it will always be available
as GPL.

No, that is only true if someone has that piece of code that I released under the GPL. They have downloaded it from me under the terms of GPL, so I can't take it back from them, since that would violate my own license. If I've had a piece of code sitting on my HDD for months with a big red GPL sticker on it but nobody has a copy of it, I can release it under anything I want. I own the code. It's mine.

The issue that Gates is right about is that someone can not take that
GPL code and use it in their programs for which they intend to charge.
(Something that M$ is widely reported to have done with much of their

Yes, and that's the POINT. It's called an "End User License" and if you intend to use any piece of software, you must agree to the license before you can use it. Furthermore, if someone wants to use my GPL code in their proprietary program, they are still perfectly welcome to it. All they have to do is get in touch with me and ask me how much I would charge to relicense my code to them under a different license. I am perfectly free to do it. I will create a separate version of my code under a different license and sell it to them. See, I OWN the code. I can do with it anything I wish.

What Bill Gates is whining about is that he cannot have a free lunch as he would with a BSD license. With BSD he is free to take other people's intellectual property and then sell it right back to them. I won't allow this to happen to my code, sorry. I like the protection GPL offers to my intellectual property.

Do you see the difference?  It destroys the ability to create anything
upon it that is not also GPL.

I can see the difference, but I think you got it all backwards.

Not all licenses do that.  LGPL/FreeBSD License for example allow for
the creation of code with a closed license code upon the top of it.

LGPL is a library license. It allows people to use my code by linking to their proprietary software, as long as they don't change my code and re-release it. That's perfectly fine with me, though I prefer not to do it. I am a greedy bastard and don't want to give my code away for free to someone who intends to sell it.

A GPL piece of code is a gift that keeps on giving.

That's precisely right.

It's a good thing for humanity...not a good thing for software vendors.

Greedy, whiny software vendors who don't like paying for other people's work, you mean? Not all vendors are like that, you've been in the world of Microsoft for too long.

... so Gates is right.

No, Gates is spreading FUD in hopes that it will win him support.

Konstantin ("Icon") Riabitsev
Duke University Physics Sysadmin

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