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Re: [TSVN] To GPL or not to GPL

From: Molle Bestefich <molle.bestefich_at_gmail.com>
Date: 2005-08-24 10:59:38 CEST

Simon Large wrote:
> > GPL provides this, BSD/Apache licenses don't. As long as everyone plays
> > 'nice' GPL vs. BSD/Apache may not make a huge practical difference, but
> > sadly Sleazy&Co seems to be an expanding franchise.
> There is a good volume of open source work under exactly this type of
> license. Do you know of examples of active open source projects being
> hijacked by commercial developers? Am I just being naive?

The Linux kernel comes to mind. I don't follow the kernel mailing
list closely, but it seems that every one or two months, someone adds
proprietary stuff to the kernel, stuffs it in a router or some such
and starts selling the product while denying access to the source code
additions. Linksys is probably the most prominent example, since they
were later bought by Cisco.

Another example would be the 'xvid' source code. Sigma Designs stole
the source (eg. modified and used it in their proprietary product w/o
source). Their main product is a decoder chip used in DVD players, so
presumably they modified the source to play nicely in a piece of

I haven't paid for market research, but I know that they have a huge
part of the DVD player silicon market. Every DVD player I've ever
opened use Sigma Designs chips, and they are thus now a major player
on the market - based on source code, research and hard work which
they utterly stole from one (or more) open source project(s).

I'd say that you're a little bit naive, yes ;-).

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Received on Wed Aug 24 11:00:12 2005

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