osOpinion: Public Domain Software - Better Than Open Source?
Nov 13, 2001, 14:54 (99 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Philip Stephens)
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"Open source and free software were founded on the idea
that all information and knowledge should be made freely available
for the benefit of all, and what is software but the embodiment of
Unfortunately, much of today's open software is not free in one
important respect. The use of copyright and the General Public
License (GPL) restricts its commercial exploitation.
The GPL came about because many software developers did not want
monopolists like Microsoft taking open software and adding
proprietary extensions so that other implementations of the
software cannot interoperate with it or replace it. This goal keeps
these companies from using their corporate muscle to make their
proprietary version the de facto standard.
The problem is, that is the only reason for the GPL. By
disallowing commercial use of open software, smaller, struggling
companies cannot leverage open software to reduce their time to
market, thereby making it more difficult to compete against