Jeroen Dekkers jeroen at dekkers.cx
Mon Mar 18 22:54:17 UTC 2002

On Mon, Mar 18, 2002 at 06:54:37PM +0000, John Tapsell wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> Hi,
>   Most of the emails I write in regarding fsf I end up saying the wrong 
> things and get flamed - here's another such letter ;)
I also do that when I talk about the Hurd. I blame it on the flaming
people. :-) 
>   I have a bit of a problem.  I work on many projects, however one of them is 
> fairly big, and would benefit linux a lot.  Unfortunately I have university  
> and work etc to worry about, and development would be slow.  
>   On a whim, I mentioned the project to some VC's, and it turns out they love 
> it, and are willing to plow serious amounts of money, and give me a team of 
> developers, etc.  Being a uni student, I'm obviously very pleased and 
> excited, but if I did this I would have to make it closed source, and indeed 
> actively protect it.

This would make development go more slowly. Maybe it goes faster for a
short time, but later on it will slowdown because it's non-free.
>   Again, the problem is that it would benefit (IMHO) linux a lot, but on the 
> other hand, I wouldn't be able to develop it as much, and plus I have a 
> chance to pay off my university fees, and actually run my own business, etc.

I don't think it won't benefit Linux, GNU, the free software community
and our users if it will be proprietary. I guess most people won't
even use it although the program is pretty good. I won't for example.

However, if you make your program free software, I'm alsmost sure
somebody or something benefits. It's the nice things about free
software. Look at the GIMP or the Hurd for example. If those projects
weren't free software projects, they would already have failed. Now a
lot of people use GIMP and I hope will use the Hurd in the

I think you should ask why they want it to be non-free. Why they want
to restrict the development of the program. Didn't they want it make
development go faster by putting money in it. It's perfectly possible
to make money with free software. If you come with good argument and
bring it in a good way it should be possible to convince them. If you
need help, ask here. If you can't, look for another VC.

Jeroen Dekkers
Jabber supporter - http://www.jabber.org Jabber ID: jdekkers at jabber.org
Debian GNU supporter - http://www.debian.org http://www.gnu.org
IRC: jeroen at openprojects
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