juridical Question on software and GPL
eda-qa at disemia.com
Sat Mar 27 12:23:48 UTC 2004
Moritz Sinn wrote:
> that ppl don't care about quality and that they only see the outer
> appearance was already mentioned in this discussion. they don't care
> about their freedom to change the software, to read the source code or
> what so ever. they just want to use it. if it would be diffrent linux
> would be on every computer and not windows.
Maybe for most individual home users this is true, but for a business
there is certainly a case for having open/free software. The businesses
I've had, or worked for, one more than occassion have had software that
had a defect or something, and the vendor would not fix it unless we
paid a large upgrade fee. I would have been cheaper to pay a programmer
to find and correct the issue for us.
On numerous occassions I've had software simply left behind, never to be
updated again, and nobody to pick it up and keep it going. If this
wasn't a real concern, there wouldn't be source code escrow brokers --
but there are, and for any small software vendor to get a large business
client they are almost always required to put their code in escrow. The
business doesn't want to be stuck using a dead product.
As a developer for a company I've also seen great advantage to free
software. Many developers take a lot of pride in their work, and they
hate seeing it die because of a stupid business practice. I've
personally had to give up using a program that I was the lead developer
for since the company went out of business and the software died as a
corporate asset. It is a complete and total waste, 25 years or so of
man-year effort, a completely usable product, and it is completely dead
and forgotten now. I hope more developers start demanding free
software, as I shudder to think how many great products have simply died
and been forgotten due to corporate failure.
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