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osOpinion: Free Software Movement Gets Down to Business

Aug 24, 2001, 12:01 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tom Lord)

[ Thanks to Kelly McNeill for this link. ]

"I'm a strong believer in the Free Software Movement. All software ought to be free software and distributed under the terms of the General Public License (GPL). There are solid ethical and engineering reasons to take that stance. I'm also a strong believer that growth-oriented, profitable, socially responsible businesses can be based on free software and do so without any need for proprietary or even open-source (non-GPL) components. The simplest argument in favor of this view is to recognize that proprietary software licenses are largely an accounting convenience rather than a necessary condition of how software-based businesses operate.

... The natural way to proceed, then, is to begin engineering the bulk of our proprietary systems into legacy status and therefore cooperate across company boundaries to build novel and superior replacements, distributing those replacements as GPL'd free software. In other words, let's rebuild our software infrastructure from scratch, this time under the GPL."

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