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From: haw...@ucrengr.ucr.edu (brian hawley)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Linux and Corporate America
Message-ID: <35878@galaxy.ucr.edu>
Date: 25 Aug 93 16:28:58 GMT
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Some fellow graduate students and I were discussing the distribution
of Linux.  One of the questions that came up was what would prevent
a company from adding some enhancements to Linux and then selling it
for a price.  It might even be that Linux is used just as an OS on
some integrated system which provided the ability to sense a nuclear
reactor mealtdown and lower the rods (please don't flame about the
real time nature of Linux and this application, it is just an example).

What restrictions are placed on the distribution of Linux, and its
reuse in other products.  

~
Thanks,
haw...@ucrengr.ucr.edu

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magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu!tabaer
From: tab...@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Troy A. Baer)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: Linux and Corporate America
Date: 25 Aug 1993 16:45:00 GMT
Organization: The Ohio State University
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In article <35...@galaxy.ucr.edu> haw...@ucrengr.ucr.edu (brian hawley) writes:
>
>
>Some fellow graduate students and I were discussing the distribution
>of Linux.  One of the questions that came up was what would prevent
>a company from adding some enhancements to Linux and then selling it
>for a price.

Nothing.  However, they MUST acknowledge where the system came from
(i.e. Linus and the rest of the gang) and they MUST make the source
code available.  These are required by the GPL.

>It might even be that Linux is used just as an OS on
>some integrated system which provided the ability to sense a nuclear
>reactor mealtdown and lower the rods (please don't flame about the
>real time nature of Linux and this application, it is just an example).

Hmm... I can't this happening.  Pardon my ignorance, but does this
kind of embedded system need an OS?

>What restrictions are placed on the distribution of Linux, and its
>reuse in other products.  

The information you're looking for is in the GPL (which I will admit
is not the clearest document in the world -- see the ongoing argument
in gnu.misc.discuss between the FSF and people like Michael Golan and
myself).

	--Troy
+--------------------+---------------------------------------------------+
| Troy A. Baer       | "I naver saw a MacGregor et an Inglisman doon     |
| tab...@magnus.acs. |  ta the shoe before..."                           |
|  ohio-state.edu    | -- Jock Armstrong of the Syde, _The_Spiral_Dance_ |
+--------------------+---------------------------------------------------+

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uwm.edu!usenet
From: r...@ee.uwm.edu (Rick Miller - Linux Device Registrar)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: Linux and Corporate America
Date: 25 Aug 1993 17:41:21 GMT
Organization: Just me.
Lines: 36
Message-ID: <25g881INN62q@uwm.edu>
References: <35878@galaxy.ucr.edu> <25g4uc$qrk@charm.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu>
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Summary: No... what *REAL* measures.

tab...@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Troy A. Baer) writes:
>haw...@ucrengr.ucr.edu (brian hawley) writes:

>>Some fellow graduate students and I were discussing the distribution
>>of Linux.  One of the questions that came up was what would prevent
>>a company from adding some enhancements to Linux and then selling it
>>for a price.

>Nothing.  However, they MUST acknowledge where the system came from
>(i.e. Linus and the rest of the gang) and they MUST make the source
>code available.  These are required by the GPL.


No, no, no...  I think Mr. Hawley meant "what would prevent" them.
That is, not "why shouldn't they" but what would actually persuade them
not to do it?

Will someone (WHO?) sue a violator of the GPL?  In what jurisdiction?
                    ^^^
Seriously now...  What would happen to me, no, what would *YOU* do to
me if I were to come up with a "killer app" under Linux 0.99.12 and sell
it as "RickOS" or some-such ridiculous thing?  What if I sold MicroSoft
<ack!><gag!><spit!> on the idea and they started marketing it to compete
with SunOS and Solaris for i486's???  Hmmm?   What would happen?!?

Nothing.  That's what.  NULL, nil, zero, nulo, nada, zilch...  Period.

Here's the loophole...

	Linus, have you *paid* for your Copyright on Linux yet?
	It has been openly published for over a year now...

RICK MILLER           <r...@ee.uwm.edu>            Voice:  +1 414 221-3403
P.O. BOX 1759                                        FAX:  +1 414 221-4744
MILWAUKEE, WI                      Send a postcard and I'll send one back.
53150-1759 USA                    Sendu bildkarton kaj mi retrosendos oni.

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From: r...@ee.uwm.edu (Rick Miller)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: Linux and Corporate America
Date: 25 Aug 1993 19:14:27 GMT
Organization: Just me.
Lines: 19
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The GPL is beside the point.

The sharp end of the stick is this:

	Linux is effectively defenseless against plagiarism.

If someone re-named Linux and took all the credit for herself (don't want
to be sexist, y'know... ;-)  I sincerely doubt that there would be *any*
legal retaliation.  After all, Copyright simply gives you the right to
sue and an even chance of winning at it.  It doesn't actually stop anyone.

There are no "Copyright Police".  Violation of Copyright is *not* a crime.

	So tell me...  What's to stop them?  Who will sue?

RICK MILLER           <r...@ee.uwm.edu>            Voice:  +1 414 221-3403
P.O. BOX 1759                                        FAX:  +1 414 221-4744
MILWAUKEE, WI                      Send a postcard and I'll send one back.
53150-1759 USA                    Sendu bildkarton kaj mi retrosendos oni.

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
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cybaswan!iiitac
From: iii...@swan.pyr (Alan Cox)
Subject: Re: Linux and Corporate America
Message-ID: <1993Aug25.185745.19280@swan.pyr>
Organization: Swansea University College
References: <35878@galaxy.ucr.edu> <25g4uc$qrk@charm.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu> 
<25g881INN62q@uwm.edu>
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1993 18:57:45 GMT
Lines: 18

In article <25g881INN...@uwm.edu> r...@ee.uwm.edu (Rick Miller - 
Linux Device Registrar) writes:
>
>Will someone (WHO?) sue a violator of the GPL?  In what jurisdiction?
>                    ^^^
Wherever is appropriate if necessary. The GPL is a valid legal document. I
suspect Linus has better things to do. The main GNU weapon would be very
bad publicity for the company concerned.
>Here's the loophole...
>
>	Linus, have you *paid* for your Copyright on Linux yet?
>	It has been openly published for over a year now...
>
He doesn't need to pay a penny. Americans might have to pay to register
copyrights (I don't know about this), but Finn's don't - and the Finnish
copyright is as good as any other in the USA under the relevant conventions.

Alan

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From: imccl...@cs.ucsd.edu (Ian McCloghrie)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: Linux and Corporate America
Message-ID: <53717@sdcc12.ucsd.edu>
Date: 25 Aug 93 23:23:15 GMT
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<25gdmjINN6v1@uwm.edu>
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r...@ee.uwm.edu (Rick Miller) writes:

>	So tell me...  What's to stop them?  Who will sue?

	Why is a *lawsuit* necessary to stop this sort of stealing?
The GPL is a fairly famous (infamous?) document, and any company who
tries to take a GPL-ed piece of code and market it as their own 
proprietary stuff is going to come under SUBSTANTIAL pressure from the
community who knows where this software came from, and what is
required for distribution, modifications, etc.  I think even the most
ardent opponents of the GNU project would agree that this is just
not something that one can do.  A software company makes money largely
because of publicity about their products, bad press about them is
a better weapon than a lawsuit, IMHO.

--
 /~> Ian McCloghrie      | Commandant of Secret Police - Cal Animage Beta.
< <  /~\ |~\ |~> |  | <~ | email: i...@ucsd.edu               Net/2, USL 0!
 \_> \_/ |_/ |~\ |__| _> | Card Carrying Member, UCSD Secret Islandia Club

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wyvern!taylor.wyvern.com!mark
From: m...@taylor.uucp (Mark A. Davis)
Subject: Re: Linux and Corporate America
Organization: Lake Taylor Hospital Computer Services
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1993 01:47:12 GMT
Message-ID: <1993Aug26.014712.19095@taylor.uucp>
References: <25g881INN62q@uwm.edu> <6eou9B2w165w@cybernet.cse.fau.edu> 
<25gdmjINN6v1@uwm.edu>
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r...@ee.uwm.edu (Rick Miller) writes:

>The GPL is beside the point.
>The sharp end of the stick is this:
>	Linux is effectively defenseless against plagiarism.
>If someone re-named Linux and took all the credit for herself (don't want
>to be sexist, y'know... ;-)  I sincerely doubt that there would be *any*
>legal retaliation.  After all, Copyright simply gives you the right to
>sue and an even chance of winning at it.  It doesn't actually stop anyone.

>There are no "Copyright Police".  Violation of Copyright is *not* a crime.

Violation of a copyright is a crime if a crime is defined as a violation of
the law.  Whether the law dealing with that
crime is enforcible or not is a separate issue.

>	So tell me...  What's to stop them?  Who will sue?

There is morality and legality.  It is possible that the GPL'er could sue
a violator.  This may not happen because of the money and time needed to
do this, but it is a possibility.  If nothing else, there is morality.
I would be extremely bad looking if Sun, for example decided to violate
the GPL on Linux.  Sun's competitors might be the first to offer legal
assistance to Linus..... if you get my meaning.

-- 
  /--------------------------------------------------------------------------\
  | Mark A. Davis    | Lake Taylor Hospital | Norfolk, VA (804)-461-5001x431 |
  | Sys.Administrator|  Computer Services   | m...@taylor.wyvern.com   .uucp |
  \--------------------------------------------------------------------------/

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From: r...@ee.uwm.edu (Rick Miller - Realist)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: Linux and Corporate America
Date: 26 Aug 1993 12:52:11 GMT
Organization: Just me.
Lines: 46
Message-ID: <25iblrINNk21@uwm.edu>
References: <6eou9B2w165w@cybernet.cse.fau.edu> <25gdmjINN6v1@uwm.edu> 
<53717@sdcc12.ucsd.edu>
NNTP-Posting-Host: 129.89.2.33

imccl...@cs.ucsd.edu (Ian McCloghrie) writes:
>r...@ee.uwm.edu (Rick Miller) writes:
>
>>	So tell me...  What's to stop them?  Who will sue?
>
>	Why is a *lawsuit* necessary to stop this sort of stealing?
>The GPL is a fairly famous (infamous?) document, and any company who
>tries to take a GPL-ed piece of code and market it as their own 
>proprietary stuff is going to come under SUBSTANTIAL pressure from the
>community who knows where this software came from, and what is
>required for distribution, modifications, etc.  I think [...] <SNIP!>

Ian... you've been brainwashed.   When was the last time you've seen
*ANY* mention of the GNU project in *ANY* trade publication?  Hmmm?

The sad fact is that what is so commonly known to us (Usenetters) is
hardly, if ever, heard of out in the real world where the cash flows.

And why would a publisher of a trade rag want to give a paying advertiser
bad press, hmmm???  Chances are the rag's publisher doesn't use GNU-ware.

There are lots and lots of computer-wise professionals who've never even
*heard* of the Usenet or of the GNU project.  They're the ones that think
you're talking about the latest version of PK-Zip even though you make
special effort to over-emphasize the "Guh-NOO" when you say "gnu-zip".
They typically think you're just making a bad pronunciation joke.

It all comes down to CA$H, Ian.  You don't make much selling free software
on comission.  ;-)  No one I know of has enough motivation and enough CA$H
to make much stink over a Copyright violation of Linux.

Prospective clients of such a scoundrel might not like the sound of the
accusation (should they ever manage to hear of it), but with no law-suit,
no *action* against this scoundrel, their main concerns would be:

	Does the software work?
	Does it do what I want?
	Is it inexpensive?

	...typical customer-type questions to be soothed by slick
	marketroids and their salesoid cousins into making the deal.

RICK MILLER           <r...@ee.uwm.edu>            Voice:  +1 414 221-3403
P.O. BOX 1759                                        FAX:  +1 414 221-4744
MILWAUKEE, WI                      Send a postcard and I'll send one back.
53150-1759 USA                    Sendu bildkarton kaj mi retrosendos oni.

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From: r...@ee.uwm.edu (Rick Miller - Practical Realist)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: Linux and Corporate America
Date: 26 Aug 1993 13:06:41 GMT
Organization: Just me.
Lines: 34
Message-ID: <25ich1INNk8i@uwm.edu>
References: <6eou9B2w165w@cybernet.cse.fau.edu> <25gdmjINN6v1@uwm.edu> 
<1993Aug26.014712.19095@taylor.uucp>
NNTP-Posting-Host: 129.89.2.33

m...@taylor.uucp (Mark A. Davis) writes:
>r...@ee.uwm.edu (Rick Miller) writes:

[...]
>>There are no "Copyright Police".  Violation of Copyright is *not* a crime.

>Violation of a copyright is a crime if a crime is defined as a violation of
>the law.  Whether the law dealing with that crime is enforcible or not is
>a separate issue.

No, the definition of a crime includes *punishment*.  There is no punishment
for plagiarism.  None.  Copyright merely gives the one violated the right to
sue the violator for damages... but when you're giving your product away,
you're not even making any profit... so there can be no damages!

>>	So tell me...  What's to stop them?  Who will sue?
>
>There is morality and legality.  It is possible that the GPL'er could sue
>a violator.  This may not happen because of the money and time needed to
>do this, but it is a possibility.  If nothing else, there is morality.
>I would be extremely bad looking if Sun, for example decided to violate
>the GPL on Linux.  Sun's competitors might be the first to offer legal
>assistance to Linus..... if you get my meaning.

Give me a break.  I'll lay even odds that *MOST* Sun users have never even
*HEARD* of the GNU project!!

Don't you get it?  NO ONE HAS HEARD OF US!!  WE ARE A *TINY* MINORITY.
...and more importantly, we have little if any control over cash flow.

RICK MILLER           <r...@ee.uwm.edu>            Voice:  +1 414 221-3403
P.O. BOX 1759                                        FAX:  +1 414 221-4744
MILWAUKEE, WI                      Send a postcard and I'll send one back.
53150-1759 USA                    Sendu bildkarton kaj mi retrosendos oni.

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cybaswan!iiitac
From: iii...@swan.pyr (Alan Cox)
Subject: Re: Linux and Corporate America
Message-ID: <1993Aug26.143208.12352@swan.pyr>
Organization: Swansea University College
References: <25gdmjINN6v1@uwm.edu> <53717@sdcc12.ucsd.edu> <25iblrINNk21@uwm.edu>
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1993 14:32:08 GMT
Lines: 24

In article <25iblrINN...@uwm.edu> r...@ee.uwm.edu (Rick Miller - Realist) writes:
>Ian... you've been brainwashed.   When was the last time you've seen
>*ANY* mention of the GNU project in *ANY* trade publication?  Hmmm?
About 30 minutes ago: A piece about GNU and the consortium working on GCC
>And why would a publisher of a trade rag want to give a paying advertiser
>bad press, hmmm???  Chances are the rag's publisher doesn't use GNU-ware.
Trade magazines have to be very careful. If they show bias to one product
the competition jump on them and complain, the users no longer trust
the magazine after they buy the product. What is common however is we'll
have an advert in the issue you review our product - often followed by
But we weren't going to review your product
Oh .. pause..
If you send us a copy for review however ...
>Prospective clients of such a scoundrel might not like the sound of the
>accusation (should they ever manage to hear of it), but with no law-suit,
>no *action* against this scoundrel, their main concerns would be:
Many companies would be very very worried about such a claim, especially
with regards to what they often see as the Gnu Public Virus. The prospect
of suddenely losing support or of finding they have written GNU licensed
code by mistake will sway many.
In addition one other thing which makes pretty much sure is that anyone
can go and rip off 386BSD legally.
Alan

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From: iii...@swan.pyr (Alan Cox)
Subject: Re: Linux and Corporate America
Message-ID: <1993Aug26.165831.15667@swan.pyr>
Organization: Swansea University College
References: <25gdmjINN6v1@uwm.edu> <1993Aug26.014712.19095@taylor.uucp> 
<25ich1INNk8i@uwm.edu>
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1993 16:58:31 GMT
Lines: 29

In article <25ich1INN...@uwm.edu> r...@ee.uwm.edu (Rick Miller - Practical Realist) 
writes:
>No, the definition of a crime includes *punishment*.  There is no punishment
>for plagiarism.  None.  Copyright merely gives the one violated the right to
>sue the violator for damages... but when you're giving your product away,
>you're not even making any profit... so there can be no damages!

Incorrect: Even lawyers understand other things - for example

1) Loss of status. Everyone buying it will believe you didn't write it, 
   or are lying. Makes it harder to get a job <CHINK $$$$>
2) Harm caused by forcing you to rewrite code they failed to release
	<CHINK $$$$>
3) Damages due to everyone supporting Linux who will have suffered as a result
(eg from 1 above) <CHINK $$$$>

>Give me a break.  I'll lay even odds that *MOST* Sun users have never even
>*HEARD* of the GNU project!!
Until recently suns software support people recommended gcc when you 
phoned up and said we need an ANSI C compiler. Now they say things like
'Officially we recommend Sun acc blah de blah, but GNU gcc is free and
may suit you better'
>Don't you get it?  NO ONE HAS HEARD OF US!!  WE ARE A *TINY* MINORITY.
>...and more importantly, we have little if any control over cash flow.
I disagree here. The people it matters to, and who you would sell Linux
too have to a degree all heard about Linux. The man in the street hasn't
I grant that freely.

Alan

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From: iii...@swan.pyr (Alan Cox)
Subject: Re: Linux and Corporate America
Message-ID: <1993Aug31.132829.15336@swan.pyr>
Organization: Swansea University College
References: <1993Aug26.014712.19095@taylor.uucp> <25ich1INNk8i@uwm.edu> 
<MUTS.93Aug28133912@compi.hobby.nl>
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1993 13:28:29 GMT
Lines: 6

As a followup to all of this the company I worked for picked gcc as a compiler
for its quality, ditto for gdb. After that they picked Linux for a development
OS. 

Alan

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