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Re: OSD && DFSG - different purposes - constructive suggestion!

Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au> writes:
> It certainly does force you to share your secrets. It forces you to share
> your secrets only with your customers, though.

I don't believe this is the case: I have code which is a proprietary
typesetting package based on GPL'd works.  My customers give me paper
and I give them paper back; sometimes i give them PDF files for
proofing.  These files contain *their* proprietary information.

> It closes a loophole; that is, it means companies can't maliciously
> take free GPLed software, make changes to it that they don't release,
> and then cause users to rely on that software.

One of the advantages I've seen in the GPL is that it promotes the
use-value of software over its sale-value.  This sort of change --
requirements that an author distribute his changes more widely than he
wishes -- seems to remove much of the use value as well.

> Convince me that in this imperfect world, as we try to make things
> more transparent, and give people more control and access over the
> software that affects them, that being able to get access to the
> sourcecode for www.wherever.com whether they want me to or not is a
> *bad* thing.

* It makes certain kinds of crimes easier to commit, though much
  harder to conceal.

* Identity theft, in particular, becomes much easier.

* There's less incentive to develop new changes: unless you can afford
  a stable of developers large enough to deploy new features faster
  than your competitors can copy them, you gain no competitive
  advantage from innovation.  Software gets developed only to scratch
  personal itches.


Brian T. Sniffen                                        bts@alum.mit.edu

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