Re: Linux stifles innovation...

From: Mike Pontillo (
Date: Sat Feb 17 2001 - 02:20:54 EST

> For example, if there were six different companies that marketed ethernet
> drivers for the eepro100, you'd have a choice of which one to buy..perhaps
> with different "features" that were of value to you. Instead, you have
> crappy GPL code that locks up under load, and its not worth spending
> corporate dollars to fix it because you have to give away your work for
> free under GPL. And since there is a "free" driver that most people can
> use, its not worth building a better mousetrap either because the market
> too small. So, the handful of users with problems get to "fit it
> themselves", most of whom cant of course.

     Assuming I am a corporate entity and I need to spend a few bucks to fix
a GPL driver, just because I fix it and deploy my fix on my corporation's
internal network machines -- and quite possibly benefit the hell out of
myself and my company -- that does not mean that I have to release my work
for free under the GPL. Of course, the *nice* thing to do would be to
release it under the GPL even if I was only using the fix internally -- but
I am under no obligation to do that, if, say, I just wanted to keep ahead of
my competitors. Maybe I was planning to wait awhile so I could get ahead in
my market. Maybe I'm just an IP freak and I want to keep my code to myself.
Whatever. My understanding is that the only restrictions I have is that I
can't sell or distribute the darned thing. If, say for example I needed to
fix that driver so that it would work on my new WhizBang 2001 Corporate
Server that is about to hit the market, then I would be making money on the
hardware, and as an added bonus my company looks good because it has an
"open" driver for its server. (no matter that it "had" to under the GPL)

Mike Pontillo

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Feb 23 2001 - 21:00:15 EST