GPL not encouraging new technology

MJ Ray markj at
Mon Dec 9 12:33:43 UTC 2002

Niall Douglas <s_fsfeurope at> wrote:
> On 5 Dec 2002 at 12:01, MJ Ray wrote:
>> > I was more meaning the supplier to the most people ie; industry
>> > leader.
>> Depends what you are describing as "industry" here.  Are we trying to
>> get share in an existing market, or replace one market with another,
>> or...?
> Is it me or are my commonly used terms not commonly used on this 
> list? Ah well. [...]

Possibly not.  There are many differences exposed in all their gnarly
horrors on this list, including:

- markets vs industries vs sectors;
- the differences between copyrights, patents and trademarks;
- case law (UK-style) vs code law (DE-style);

and probably many more besides.  Fouling up by using the jargon of the mass
media on this list is probably the most common cause of misunderstandings.

> Yes in terms of overall wish but not in terms of pragmatism. I might 
> not like the current system and indeed have visions of it being 
> replaced, but I know it won't happen in mine nor your lifetime. 

Now you go from my comment about causing structural change to wanting to
replace the entire macroeconomic system.  Why?  There have already been
structural changes in my lifetime and I'm not that old.  I expect there will
be more.  Let's use them to our maximum advantage.

> However, I am just as likely to be wrong as anyone else with a 
> business model for software - so on this logic, *any* business model 
> for software is equally wrong. I don't think this is a sound basis 
> for further argument! :)

Hrm, are you sure?  I guess what I meant to say is "show me the evidence". 

>> >> 1. There is no *the* free software business model;
>> > "the" usually means the most common one which is what I meant here.
>> Sorry, I've not ever seen that definition.
> I meant the English common usage. [...]

It is not that common.  Not even students at the local college fail to
recognise the significance of the definite article.

OK, the most common FSB model has flaws.  I think I'd agree with that.  I
don't think it's reason to abandon all FSB models, though.

> Hence *the* free software business model is the commonly used one 
> which AFAICS involves charging for commercial use of the software but 
> is free for non-commercial use. There are others too, but it's the 
> most common AFAIK.

That would not be a Free Software Business model, because charging for use
of the software is not possible for Free Software: the act of running the
program, for any purpose, is unrestricted.

> [...] I think of it similar to the reformation - first protestants split
> from catholicism, then catholicism realised its days were numbered and
> reformed itself. I reckon the same thing will happen here.

Those damn proprietary protestants, eh, splitting from Free Software?  Do
you really think Free Software hasn't reformed itself enough already, with
the introduction of copyleft licences, rather than trusting to the public
domain and good nature of future hackers?

MJR|                                                                  v
---|--[ Something else will appear here eventually, I guess...  ]-----|
   `--[ ]---------[ slef at ]-----'

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