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Groklaw: The Sustainable GPL

Oct 30, 2004, 03:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Pamela Jones)

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"I know many of you have read the article by Professor Richard Epstein, 'Why Open Source is Unsustainable.' I know because so many of you sent it to me. I was not originally inclined to write a rebuttal, because I felt he was a perfectly fine gentleman who just doesn't quite get the GPL. This isn't a sin. And I wasn't inspired to do it. So I set it aside.

"Actually, there a teensy bit more to the story. I despaired of doing a good job. I sighed when I read 'once someone incorporates open source software in his own programs, then any license that he issues cannot charge others for its use,; because that isn't so, and my eyes got wide as I read on to learn he thinks open source development is like a workers' commune, but when I got to the question, 'But how do the insiders, such as Linus Torvalds, cash out of the business that they built?'--well, it was clear *I* couldn't write about it, because my pesky sense of humor started revving up, and it's like getting the giggles. Once you start to see a thing funny, you just make it can't stop, so obviously, this wasn't a job for me..."

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