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Re: US court says software is owned, not licensed

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: US court says software is owned, not licensed
Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2009 08:32:48 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.1.50 (gnu/linux)

"amicus_curious" <> writes:

> "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
>>>>> false.
>>>> 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.

Hm?  It is the amount of money the investors find worth keeping in a
company.  If a single company focused on GPL products already has more
than 5 billions, it is certainly not unsubstantiated to talk about a
market worth billions.  Unless you are in complete denial mode.

> Using the same logic, the market value of Windows and Windows software
> is some 240 billion by contrast.

I haven't looked.  So what?  That was not under debate.  Is there a
particular reason you feel like changing the topic whenever you have
been proven wrong?

> No other company dealing with open source software as a defining
> charactersitic even comes close to Red Hat,

Last time I looked, Sun defined itself as an open source company, and it
is slated to become part of Oracle.  Both not exactly small companies.

> 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.

Cough, cough.  Hunks of Oracle, IBM and others are focused on Open
Source (IBM has invested a few billions into Open Source by now
according to their own statements, so IBM alone would also likely
support my statement).  Is there a particular reason you only want to
count a single company for the GPL tally (and dismiss that this single
company would already suffice for my statement), yet list a number of
companies (who tend to also invest in the GPL market) on the side of
Windows, even though a comparison was never the topic?

Get a grip.  Try to remember what you tried accusing me of and try
arguing a bit more coherently.  You don't look particularly well if you
both lose sight of your argument _and_ employ conflicting standards
while arguing something else altogether.

>>> 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.

Not with GPL software.  And so it is simply disingenuous to define
"market" as something excluding the GPL market.  It is like saying that
the majority of beverages is carbonated, and then measuring the beverage
market in terms of carbon dioxide.  Of course you'll arrive at the
conclusion that there is no significant market value for orange juice.

> 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.

Uh yes.  We were talking about _market_ value of GPL software business.
Now you want to exclude everything for which one has to pay.  How much
more stupid can you get?

David Kastrup

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