Re: Funding GPL projects or funding the GPL?

From: Federico Ferreres (
Date: Sat Aug 03 2002 - 17:55:51 EST

> Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you
> have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for
> this service if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it
> if you want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it
> in new free programs; and that you know you can do these things.

That is fantastic, unless what you need is not beign developed and
supported. In these cases, the GPL effectively prevents the software
from beign developed and funded.

Suppose Adobe wants to GPL Photoshop. They need funds to keep improving
it, patenting stuff so that other don't abuse their ideas (imagine those
patents under a General Public Patent License). The designers want to
have a Photoshop. But Adobe will have no way to charge for it, except by
redistributing it. But who want's to pay for a Photoshop CD or download
from Adobe when you'll have it bundled in your RedHat (or favorite)
distro? So Adobe doesn't want to GPL it, GIMP doesn't get enough funds
to improve it faster and the designed end up having to use a lower
quality product (GIMP) or having to pay for Windows and Photoshop.

The GPL effectively help the distribution of software but not the
developement of software. The fGPL helps developement of software and
doesn't harm redistribution.

But I do not expect any developer that's getting paid by a distribution,
the goverments or a big company to agree with me. Any other developer
that's _trully_ independant (from distributors, universities, tax and
big corps money), did a great contribution for OSS and can't get the
funds to keep on working, should agree.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Aug 07 2002 - 22:00:23 EST