neat story

Rui Miguel Silva Seabra rms at
Tue Mar 19 23:22:06 UTC 2002


These are not the same exact words each of us have talked, but it does
express his inability to understand the motivation behind free

Boss: Does GPL really allow someone to use commercially the output of a
Me: Sure, it's even in the GNU GPL FA...
Boss: Yes, I've just read it.
Me: [surprised] so?
Boss: I've been looking at Nessus[1], and it does some pretty good job,
so good, that you can earn a lot of money with a default audit check
from nessus. It is unfair that you can exploit so much money from it
without having to pay anything. How do they live off? I don't think
their rights are well protected by the GNU GPL.

I went on trying to explain that they have made nessus on their free
time, and probably as a funny project, and/or as a way to reduce the
ammount of repetitive work they may have to do at work (I know I'm going
to use nessus reports to kick away some windows servers at work in
favour of gnu/linux systems). They also can make money by using nessus
on local companies, and they probably do.

However, my boss wasn't moved... not even when I told him some of the
examples even recently cited on this mailing list... tactics to make
people pay for a copy...  geez, I'm lucky I'm a sysadmin and not a
developer here!

It is, however, hard to make someone understand free software when they
can't understand that the ulterior motives may not be money.

Sure they need to make money to live in our current society and it is
indeed harder to make big bucks with free software. Nonetheless, the
easy way is imo immoral and doomed in time.

I really want to make a "free software only" company in one or two years
time here in Portugal so I can live off free software commercially... I
just hope I can fullfill such wish!

Hugs, Rui

Editor's notes:
 [1] -- security scanner, winner of a comparison among
free and proprietary scanners last year

+ No matter how much you do, you never do enough -- unknown
+ Whatever you do will be insignificant,
| but it is very important that you do it -- Ghandi
+ So let's do it...?
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