GPL not encouraging new technology

Niall Douglas s_fsfeurope at
Thu Dec 5 21:13:23 UTC 2002

On 5 Dec 2002 at 9:27, Rui Miguel Seabra wrote:

> On Thu, Dec 05, 2002 at 12:30:00AM +0100, Niall Douglas wrote:
> > 10% p/a, but this was some years ago. I *do* know non-ethical 
>                                    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> > investments perform excellently in recessions and do pretty well in
> > boom times too.
> Is that from personal experience? If so, as victim or abuser?

Neither. I keep an eye on the markets, that's all.

> > No, but as I've been saying all along I don't believe free software
> > encourages either entrepreneurs nor radical ground-up innovation. 
> One, it doesn't encourage entrepreneurs? Just here in Portugal I know
> of about 6 different companies that deal with free software.
> Unfourtunately, not exclusively, but the non-free products are not the
> motivation for their work... they just value technical merit more,
> instead of keeping a balance.

I can *guarantee* you they only deal with it because they want to 
make use of the existing debugged mature GPL software. That's not 
being entrepreneurial - that's taking advantage of a situation.

> Two, there is no radical ground-up innovation, that's the fairy tale
> of the lottery of software patents.

Of course there is! NextSTEP, BeOS, Plan 9 and even CP/M are all good 
examples of software redone from first principles. Hell, even the GNU 
Hurd falls in that category.

I can even think of those Dyson vacumn cleaners which use a vortex to 
extract the dirt. They work very well BTW.


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