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Re: GNU licenses

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: GNU licenses
Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2006 11:14:40 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Alexander Terekhov <> writes:

> David Kastrup wrote:
> [...]
>> > Man oh man. Profit = buyer's cost to obtain - seller's cost to create.
>> >
>> > Okay?
>> Ok.
>> > Now we take the case with distribution of new (we are now going to
>> > create) derivative work of something under the GPL:
>> >
>> >    buyer's cost to obtain = 0 (per GPL "no charge" provision)
>> Wrong.
> It's about obtaining rights to WORK (reproduction, etc.), not a cost
> to obtain copies (material objects), idiot.

Oh, you are running out of arguments again and need to resort to
insults.  How surprising.

Last time I looked, one could not make much use of a WORK without
obtaining a copy previously.

> Nobody in his right mind will buy multiple copies if one can buy
> only one

But multiple persons might buy one copy each, right?  You conveniently
forget that this is the sort of thing that turned RedHat into a
multi-million dollar business, even if they try moving to a more
service-based model now.

> and make the rest himself at marginal cost around zero.

Have you tried putting together a distribution yourself?  All this
copying can be a lot of work.

> GPL'd stuff can be obtained for free from the net.

"The net" has costs in money, time, and liability, too.  Tell a
superior when something goes wrong with software "I downloaded it
somewhere on the net for free".

>> GPL clause 1:
>>     You may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy,
>>     and you may at your option offer warranty protection in exchange
>>     for a fee.
>> And that's what makes free software distributors turn a profit.  Now
> So how come that Red Hat extricated itself from the retail market?

Likely because their financial control thought that the service
options were less precarious and more dependable than the leading-edge
development.  Which does not change that the latter got them where
they are.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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