[svlug] Subject change - Ubuntu Is Not Evil

Don Marti dmarti at zgp.org
Mon Jan 18 09:41:06 PST 2010

begin Alan DuBoff quotation of Sun, Jan 17, 2010 at 07:23:00PM -0800:

> Somehow I missed Don's reply.
> But if a company doesn't publish the code, in the end the commons
> could be destroyed over time, no?

Sure, and if you read Stallman's early articles about
copyleft, before "commercial open source" got started,
that's what you'd expect.  Lots of companies releasing
proprietary versions with minor changes, and the core
version not getting much better over time.  In fact,
though, there are projects such as PostgreSQL that
have both persistent proprietary forks and solid
core development.

The annoying thing about trying to have a copyleft
vs. non-copyleft argument is that either approach
can be the basis for a thriving development project
or a thriving company.

> In a way, the GPL prevents that tragedy from happening, even if
> nothing else but to get the corporations to publish the code in the
> first place.

No corporation, as such, is a decison-making agent.
Everyone inside the corporation has his or her own
agenda.  Some of those align with software freedom,
and others don't.

Don Marti                                 +1 510-332-1587 mobile
dmarti at zgp.org

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