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Path: sparky!uunet!cs.utexas.edu!not-for-mail
From: STMQ%MAR...@VM.MARIST.EDU (Michael Quigley)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
Subject: BBS Project -- Linux?
Date: 13 Mar 1993 14:02:59 -0600
Organization: UTexas Mail-to-News Gateway
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Sender: dae...@cs.utexas.edu
Message-ID: <9303132002.AA14564@deepthought.cs.utexas.edu>
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Dear Linuxers,

I have been receiving a lot of nasty mail from people complaining about
my BBS software being released commercially. The development group and I
are now having reservations about releasing it for Linux. While I have
been getting a lot of positive feedback, the good and bad feedback are
not in a ratio that I would like to see.

I like Linux very much. When the software is done, I am going to run it
under Linux on MY box. But if the Linux community is not ready to accept
commercial software written for Linux, I am afraid I am going to have to
port it to some dog like SCO to sell it. I don't want to have to do this,
but this is a large project being worked on by several people, and I am
afraid that I have sunk too much money into it to release it for nothing.

- Mike -

+--------------------------------------------------------------------+
:                    Michael Francis Quigley II                      :
:              s...@vm.marist.edu / m...@world.std.com                :
:                     "peace through music.."                        :
+--------------------------------------------------------------------+

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
Path: sparky!uunet!news.tele.fi!news.funet.fi!hydra!klaava!torvalds
From: torva...@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Torvalds)
Subject: Linux commercial use (was Re: BBS Project -- Linux?)
Message-ID: <1993Mar13.221058.24970@klaava.Helsinki.FI>
Organization: University of Helsinki
References: <9303132002.AA14564@deepthought.cs.utexas.edu>
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 1993 22:10:58 GMT
Lines: 43

This is only a partial follow-up to the "BBS Project.." article - it's
mainly a response to all the other posts about linux commerciality that
I've seen (not that I read them all: the only thing on c.o.l I don't
read are the non-technical flame-fests).  Mild flames follow. 

While I can understand that people prefer free software (both in the "no
cost" and in the GPL sense) over commercial programs (I personally
certainly do), actually flaming somebody over trying to make some money
is silly: it does not limit you in any way, and only gives you more
options to choose from.  If you don't want to pay for your software,
fine, but there are actually people out there that find it convenient to
be able to buy programs that work and are supported. 

In the BBS case, it wasn't even a question of somebody "taking advantage
of the GPL to make a quick buck" as somebody so diplomatically put it in
some unrelated post, but of a program that was actually developed by
people wanting to make some money on it.  While I think GPL is a great
idea, I also acknowledge that I might actually have to work for a living
when out of university, and selling programs you write is one way.  Yes,
I know that you can make money on GPL'd software (hey, I've made a very
modest amount myself on linux, thank you), but I think almost everybody
agrees that it's easier to do it the "normal" way. 

As to people wondering about somebody actually selling linux and other
GPL'd products for "big" sums - rest assured that everybody who has
written a major piece of software and put it under the GPL has been
aware of the "problem".  In fact, linux originally was under a much
stricter copyright that allowed no selling at all: the reason it is now
under GPL is that I *wanted* to allow the kind of thing that SLS,
Yggdrasil etc are doing.  And while the other linux kernel developers
have been "forced" to use the GPL due to my decision, I haven't actually
heard any complaints from anybody who has worked on major parts of the
kernel. 

So please, don't bitch about commercial uses just because they are
commercial: find something better to complain about.  If it has some
technical failings, feel free to point them out just as you would any
program, but money per se is not a reason for flames.  It's ok to be a
bit more lenient on programs you can get for free ("hey, what do you
expect for $0"), but that does not mean that you should use unreasonably
higher standards just because somebody makes money off a program. 

			Linus

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
Path: sparky!uunet!nwnexus!ole!ssc!fylz!fyl
From: f...@fylz.wa.com (Phil Hughes)
Subject: Re: Linux commercial use (was Re: BBS Project -- Linux?)
Organization: FYL
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1993 05:55:48 GMT
Message-ID: <1993Mar14.055548.1491@fylz.wa.com>
X-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.1 PL6]
References: <1993Mar13.221058.24970@klaava.Helsinki.FI>
Lines: 35

Linus Torvalds (torva...@klaava.Helsinki.FI) wrote:

: While I can understand that people prefer free software (both in the "no
: cost" and in the GPL sense) over commercial programs (I personally
: certainly do), actually flaming somebody over trying to make some money
: is silly: it does not limit you in any way, and only gives you more
: options to choose from.  If you don't want to pay for your software,
: fine, but there are actually people out there that find it convenient to
: be able to buy programs that work and are supported. 

I e-mailed a response to the BBS writer about this but it bounced.  I
originally didn't post it because I felt we had better things to
discuss in this group.  But, as my point hasn't been made and maybe it
can prevent a flame war I will post it.

I see the response as more to where the idea was posted than to what
was being done.  I certainly don't consider myself a large contributor
to this project (asked a few dumb questions, reported a few problems
and, in return answered a few more questions of others from what I had
learned) but I see this as an amazing cooperative effort.  And I, for
one, really appreciate that.

I see the BBS posting as going over as well as telling a group of
people building and giving away cars that they should buy "my new,
improved hood ornements" to include with the free cars.  I have no
ojection to the creation of the product but the positive words about
it are going to come from the end users, not the workers.

Maybe, when it is time to once again try to create a bunch of related
newsgroups we should consider a place for "non-FREE" software
discussions seperate from "FREE" software.
-- 
Phil Hughes - FYL - 8315 Lk City Wy NE - Suite 207 - Seattle, WA 98115 
Phone: 206-526-2919 x74      Fax: 526-0803
E-mail: f...@fylz.com or nwnexus!fylz!fyl 

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