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Groklaw: The Sustainable GPL

“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…”

Complete
Story