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Re: Significance of the GP licence.

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: Significance of the GP licence.
Date: Tue, 04 May 2010 16:07:41 -0000
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

In gnu.misc.discuss RJack <> wrote:
> Alan Mackenzie wrote:
>> In gnu.misc.discuss RJack <> wrote:

>>> Once the GPL is invalidated, promissory estoppel will allow some 
>>> proprietary company to improve Linux and turn it into a real
>>> operating system. Microsoft hates the thought that folks will
>>> understand the GPL is unenforceable. That's the reason Microsoft
>>> embraced the GPL -- it suppressed new competition.

>>> Perhaps the Linux kernel will continue to be improved under a free 
>>> (free as in freedom) license such as BSD or Apache.

>> You still don't get it, RJ.  The GPL is the most popular free
>> licence, and that popularity has a reason.

>> Working on a BSD kernal is so much less popular than working on
>> Linux. That has a reason, too.

> Reason? So do birds. flowers and trees. So what is your point? You are
> correct (for once). I don't get it. Statements usually have to make
> sense. What's your rhetorical focus?

Quite simply, that it is the GPL itself which is the main reason for the
popularity of Linux amongst the people who write it.  If, for some
currently inconceivable reason, Linux was relicenced under what you call
a "free as in freedom" licence, many developers would cease development.
This might leave a mere rump, scarcely larger than the groups which
maintain the BSD kernels.

> Sincerely,
> RJack :)

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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