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Re: US court says software is owned, not licensed

From: amicus_curious
Subject: Re: US court says software is owned, not licensed
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 17:29:08 -0400

"David Kastrup" <> wrote in message 87pr8s4t7b.fsf@lola.goethe.zz">news:87pr8s4t7b.fsf@lola.goethe.zz...
Rjack <> writes:

David Kastrup wrote:

He made the rather audacious and totally unsupported statement
that the "GPL software market is worth billions by now" and he
ducks and runs from the challenge that his notion is simply

Huh?  There was no challenge.  If there had been, it would have
been easy to counter.  RedHat's market capitalization is
5.29billion at the moment, their main product is RedHat Linux and
an estimated 80% (including the kernel) of any Linux distribution
is under the GPL.

Using the market cap of a producer to suggest the value to the market is kind of a reach. Using the same logic, the market value of Windows and Windows software is some 240 billion by contrast. No other company dealing with open source software as a defining charactersitic even comes close to Red Hat, so one could safely say that the combined market caps of proprietay software companies focused on Windows, which would necessarily include hunks of Oracle, Symantec, IBM, Intuit, and others, is a couple of orders of magnitude greater than the GPL can muster, making it a rather small potato.

The statement concerned the "GPL software" market (i.e. proprietary
vs. non-proprietary) software. It is a category mistake to conflate
"software" market with "software services" market.

Huh?  Since when?  It would appear you are redefining "software market"
as "licensing fee collection market" in order to carry your argument.
But that's just stupid.  Licensing fee collection is not even part of a
software engineer's job description.

But it is a very significant part of the value of software being sold in commerce. As noted, the source of Red Hat's profits are the support activities which are dependent on the existence of the GPL software in Linux, but are distinctly separate and not particularly open at that. You have to pay to play with Red Hat.

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