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Re: Lack of Cygwin contributors? Was: How is textmode/binmodedetermined ...
- To: Cygwin at sourceware dot cygnus dot com
- Subject: Re: Lack of Cygwin contributors? Was: How is textmode/binmodedetermined ...
- From: Charles Wilson <cwilson at ece dot gatech dot edu>
- Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2000 22:16:42 -0400
- References: <CA2568D2.000916AF.email@example.com>
I've gotta respond now. This has gone far enough.
1. free(beer) != free(speech) libre != gratis. GPL != 'you cannot charge
money'. OH NO! That means that people are making money RIGHT NOW from
those free software products you've contributed to in the past. How
evil^H^H^H^H free. As in speech. (You HAVE contributed to other open
source projects in the past. Riiight? Or are you just whining?)
2. Right now, today, anyone can sell cygwin. Anyone can sell a product
based on cygwin. Anyone can sell ANY product that's publicly available
under the GPL. YOU can sell cygwin tomorrow. The GPL says very little
about money. All you have to do is abide by the license terms, which say
that (a) you cannot further restrict the freedoms of the product by
adding additional license terms -- you received the source, you must
provide the source, in the same form that you distribute the binaries.
(b) you cannot charge *extra* for the source code.
3. ALL GPL'ed programs "force" other developers to use the GPL -- IF
they want to use the GPL'ed product in their own product. That's the
way the GPL works.
4. Cygnus has invested lots of money and paid the salaries of lots of
developers for a long time. They own the original copyright, and it's
their privelege to release the software under any license they like --
GPL [free(speech) for free(beer)] or proprietary [non-free(closed) for
non-free($$$$)]. They could release it under the Artistic license or the
Debian license if they liked. Whatever -- it's their product. If some
bonehead company that doesn't "get" open source comes along and says,
"We'd love to use Cygwin -- but we're stupid and we'd like to insure our
eventual demise by keeping our code closed." What should Cygnus do?
Reply, "No, go use that MS product they just absorbed." ??
Rather, they say, "Well, you can either use Cygwin for free, and join
the 21st century, or you can stay dumb and pay us through the nose for
(a) support, and (b) a closed-source license." That puts a "PRICE TAG"
on the stupidity of closed source. This is the BEST way to encourage
pointy-haired-bosses to switch to open source.
So Cygnus makes some money in the process of evangelizing the dinosaurs.
What's wrong with that? -- they've invested a lot more time and money in
the product than ANY external developer. And remember, external
contributions are STILL available to ANY open source developer. Just
like any other GPL'd package out there on the net.
Cygwin IS a free software project -- for free software developers (just
like all other free software projects). The dying breed of closed-source
companies transfer some of their wealth to one of the 'good guys'.
What's the problem?
P.S. "Red Hat" (two words) didn't do "this". Cygwin has always been
released under two licenses -- even before RH bought them.
P.P.S. I'm not a Cygnus employee, or a Red Hat employee. I just
appreciate the product, and am getting pretty sick of the anti-$$$
attitude of a lot of folks on the net these days. Programmers gotta eat,
and have families to support, too, you know. BTW, do YOU own any stock
in those technology companies on the NASDAQ? Where do you think their
earnings come from? They SELL stuff (OH NO! $$$). And you're profiting
from it (OH NO! $$$)
> > If you were advocating that Cygwin be made 100% GPL and that Cygnus
> > *never* charge for a proprietary license, I think I could understand
> > this argument. That's not what you want, though.
> That's what I'd want, or something similar. In fact, I thought that was
> already the case, as I didn't realise that RedHat would do something
> like this. Blegh, that changes things. Yeah, the current licensing
> conditions would stop me from helping; there are free software projects
> I could be giving my time to instead.
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