[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] Indexes: Main | Date | Thread | Author

[ba-unrev-talk] GPL: Socialist Agenda?

eWEEK: What's your stance on the GPL (GNU General Public License for
open source software)?     (01)

(James) Gosling: There are all of these open-source licenses out there.
They pretty much all have their own political agenda. Sun has it's own.
The one we use for Java is really about compatibility. The GPL one is, I
find, rather odd because it has this string socialist agenda that
basically says intellectual property is bad. I think it's perfectly fine
for people to say, "I want to give my stuff away for free." When it
turns into, "Nobody else should be able to make profit off of
intellectual property," I start to have a hard time with it. And the
core of my hard time with it is it's sort of like a physics argument
about conservation of energy. It takes an awful lot of energy to produce
software. Somehow or other that has to be matched. The energy that comes
out as software, something's got to go in-if only to pay the salaries of
the people who are working on the software. And you can have all kinds
of indirect models and all the rest of it, but somehow or other it has
to happen. Thermal dynamics and energy conservation laws have been
absolutely strong, and they're that way in economics as well.     (02)

And the GPL version of the universe, where everything is free and
essentially no software engineer can get a job doing software
engineering because there's no money in software engineering, I sort of
have a hard time with.     (03)

I have a certain sympathy about it because I think that there are ways
in which the software industry gets really out of control. And
intellectual property can be abused, but there's a midpoint somewhere in
there that is much more balanced.     (04)

http://www.eweek.com/print_article/0,3668,a=31450,00.asp    (05)

-jtm    (06)