GPL not encouraging new technology

Nick Mailer nickm at
Fri Nov 29 16:35:23 UTC 2002

On Fri, 2002-11-29 at 16:23, MJ Ray wrote:
> Niall Douglas <ned at> wrote:
> > I'll firstly offer my own position on this: the big problem I see 
> > with the GPL is that it does not make any money for vendors *except* 
> > when the product is already well-established and mature. [...]
> I do not think that the GPL is particularly better or worse in this regard
> than most software licences.  I suspect that selling GPL software is easier
> because there is a near-guarantee of not being able to screw the users for
> more money in exchange for no new work.  I am testing this suspicion.
> To me, your business model seems short-sighted and hemmed in by the thinking
> of proprietary software producers.  *shrug*

Quite. Let's examine the issue at hand:
a. An individual wishes to produce software
b. An individual wishes to earn money

The fallacy is in assuming that there is only one sphere of causality
where both of these desires are fulfilled. Notice that once you remove
all the illusory connective tissue: "I wish to be paid to produce
software, whereafter I wish to receive further royalties from every copy
of the software sold; and to deprive the right of any (even paying) user
access to my work except in a very specific and delineated way" you are
left with simply a. and b.

The *truly* creative programmer, who can GENUINELY "think out of the
box", will provide innovative connective tissue that does not rely on
the effective monopolistic extortion and strongarming that a
fully-operative proprietary realm demands.

There are many models available at the moment where the GPL fits very
comfortably. It is only someone extraordinarily lazy or greedy who
cannot conceive such.

Nick Mailer <nickm at>
The Positive Internet Company Ltd.

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