BSD, Gav, LGPL, Jeremy, and business

Brett Glass brett at
Fri Feb 15 15:12:14 CST 2002

At 12:39 PM 2/15/2002, Dimitrie O. Paun wrote:

>Can't you see that most Linux distributions _are_ made mostly of
>xGPLed code, and that hasn't stoped a lot of proprietary companies such as
>Oracle, SAP, IBM, etc. to release and develop code on this platform?

Targeting the platform (that is, releasing applications for it) does not
seem to these companies to be dangerous, because none of them are in the
OS business. (IBM does supply OSes such as AIX with hardware, but for the
purpose of selling the hardware -- not to make money from the software. The
one time they did try to make money with an OS -- OS/2 -- it was a disaster.)
They see ports to Linux as a way of catching a ride on the Linux bandwagon.

But in truth, they ARE hurting themselves. By legitimizing and propagating
the GPL, they are hastening the day when GPLed software invades their OWN
product categories and destroys their businesses. Their "marketroids," alas,
are focused on this month's sales figures and do not see the big picture.
It requires long term strategic thinking to recognize the threat.

--Brett Glass

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