[linux-audio-dev] New form of GPL licence that protects Linuxfrom proprietary world [was: New powermacs?]

Ivica Bukvic ico at fuse.net
Sun Jun 22 23:13:01 UTC 2003

> Do we want to _become_ what our "competition" is? I don't think so. I
> don't like pushy tactics. We are (by some measure) successsfull
> we are not like the "competition".

Point well taken. However, as someone pointed out earlier, we need more
contributors to our community in order to have faster (or more
competitive) progress. And the only way I see getting more contributors
is to have larger pool of users. Besides, I am not suggesting the "same"
tactics as our "competitors", since the source will be still freely
available, which in itself is lightyears beyond what msft and apple

Of course, the measure of success is in the eye of beholder. Yet, I am
overly surprised that this community is not so much about Linux as much
it is about the "free software." I always felt that the two are
synonymous and that with the failure of one, the other would be left
stranded. If Linux were to fail, I don't think I would have enough of
energy to start from scratch using another free OS, regardless how
similar it is/was.

I simply find it a bit frustrating that someone who has chipped-in very
little is benefiting a lot from our work, and on top of that makes a
good buck out of it -- and I am restlessly looking for a rational
solution to it. Please understand that I have no problem with the GPL
license in general and am honored to be a part of this community giving
my own contribution out for free. It does wonders for my ego :-).

Still, the question(s) remain:

How do we channel the income made off of the GPL'ed software from
commercial companies so that they directly benefit us, the developers,
not the companies who had very little to do with our efforts (this
question sounds a bit messy since it also implies that Redhat is bad,
but that is not what I am trying to imply -- well you know what I mean,
too tired to type any more :-)? Is this worth pursuing (obviously you
know my answer)? If so, what are the options that yield concrete results
(if there are any)?

> [just to keep banging on a bad analogy :-] My guess is that they would
> go to the one that is "cool" (whatever is cool at the moment). If the
> one that is not free is the one where the "cool" crowd hangs out, they
> will pay. And you will have a free but empty clubhouse (well, not
> empty, a few geeks will be there talking about cool software... and
> I would end up there as well :-). Of course it might also happen that
> the cool clubhouse is the one that is free, but don't take that as a
> given.

Good point. However, the concept of "cool" from this analogy obviously
in the world of software is directly related to the cost and the power
of an app, apache being a perfect example of that. Hence, we already
have a great advantage in that respect (the power being obviously
perpetually evolving aspect that hopefully increases with the continuous
development of an app), and with the inflow of funds from places that
have plenty of it (not from paypal donations from other poor student
Linux geeks), the development should also take a faster pace because
people could make even the living off of such development, needless to
mention that the whole concept would be perceived a lot more favorably
among the corporate clientele (perhaps potentially profitable world ==
better hw vendor support == better Linux end-user experience).

> Anyway, I don't think acceptance of the os will ever come from
> arms.

Agree. But... (you knew that was coming :-) putting an affordable
pricetag on a (for instance) pro-tools alternative such as Ardour would
be hardly calling it "twisting" arms. I am not talking here about
excessive prices, but rather shareware price ranges (obviously depending
on the nature and scope of the software), that is enough to still
greatly help the inflow of money for the development purposes, while
ensuring competitive if not ludicrously cheap prices (when compared to
the alternatives). Besides, if anyone wants it for free, they can simply
install Linux and run it on their boxes free-of-charge regardless of
their hw. This is really not even close to the monopolistic tactics of
companies such as M$ and Apple.

> Users will use the os that meets their need. Actually, most users
> will use the os that comes with the machine they bought.

Well, with the increased funding and therefore development, comes
increased user-base, and with that better vendor support. All that
amounts to increased presence of pre-installed Linux boxes. It's a
closed circle that is tough to penetrate, but once in the loop, it
becomes a lot simpler.

> Tying the use
> of a free cool app to running it in the free operating system so that
> users will switch will not work (I think). If the os they use does not
> come with the coolest tools (BTW, their idea of cool may be different
> from ours), and they are not available in "free" versions because of
> licensing issues they will just not use them and will use whatever
> is available (free or not).

That else could be our apps because they could be cheaper and would have
a faster dev cycle (something that is inherent to the oss world --
kernel being an example). How could that not be attractive?

On top of that sometimes we fail to forget that the average user still
simply cannot fathom the fact that the oss app can be better than the
one that costs money. It's the paradigm of a money-driven society: "if
it's free, it can't be good." Well, if those people feel confident that
is the case, perhaps we can all benefit from it. At least until the
threat of Linux app migration does not subdue.

Anyhow, thanks Fernando for cool insights, they are, as always very



More information about the Linux-audio-dev mailing list