[Asterisk-Dev] OT: On Trolling...

Jayson Vantuyl kagato at chaosium.net
Thu Jul 29 15:14:26 MST 2004

On Thu, Jul 29, 2004 at 12:50:41PM -0700, dking at pimpsoft.com wrote:
> I'm not a troll. I'm trying to help. The reason I had to stop was I 
> had to be out of my house for safety reasons due to a freon-30 
> leaking fridge, or so I was told.

> If I am misunderstanding things then so be it, but I honestly am 
> trying to help the community by getting rid of any possible 
> copyright/licensing conflicts and allot of alarms are going off in my 
> head because of the current implementation and my prior experience in 
> these matters; I do not want the community to get the short end of 
> the stick like I did.
Commendable, if zealous.  Try less vitriol and more diplomacy.  Have
someone read you your messages, it's easy to sound like an arse without
realizing it.  It's easy to read tone into one's own words because you
know how you meant to say it.  An impartial reading can give you volumes
of help.  Some of the biggest email jerks I've ever known weren't
actually trying to be that way.

> If You really want to prove your good intentions then free the 
> copyright to asterisk and put it under the public domain. The code 
> will stay gpl and threads like this will have no reason to exist.
Public domain would mean that any Tom, Dick, or Harry could make it
non-free.  Public Domain code is always public domain, but derivative
works can be proprietary.  As for GPL'ing it, you have all the rights
the GPL gives you to *.  You would have no more rights if he stopped
asking for disclaimers and incorporated GPL'd code.  He would have less
rights to sell special versions.

Understand that selling special versions means someone (usually with
more sense than brains) comes to you with tens of thousands to millions
of dollars and says "I need Asterisk to do this wacky thing" or needs to
"integrate it" with some proprietary crap.  I would rather Mark be able
to sap this money out of their economy while still being able to release
some of the fruits of his labor as GPL'd, then not have this income and
have him sink his money into a proprietary product.  Make no beef about
it, what Digium is doing is good for FOSS because it supports the one
truth of business that FOSS gets, that IBM gets, and that Red Hat
gets--be good to your customer.  Give them what they need (not always
what they want).  Support them.  Mark has made a very wise decision to
manage the product that way.

He's given the world a revolutionary (if occasionally crufty and
crotchety) VoIP solution while still securing a future for himself and
any partner he might take on.  I respect people being responsible
without selling themselves out.  I surely would never ask him to, pardon
the phrase, "bend over and take it" for the community.  Look at the
grSecurity flap.  That guy was spiralling into debt because he was
giving so much to the community--and if responsible businesses that
needed his work hadn't bailed him out, he'd still be spiralling.

The point is, if you're going to get holier-than-thou about licensing,
why not develop something meaningful and GPL it like you've said you
want to do?  At least that way the community will have some sort of
benefit from listening to your hostile ramblings.

Oh, and learn about law.  You really need to do that.  Misunderstanding
copyright and licensure can be a dangerous thing in IT.

Jayson Vantuyl

More information about the asterisk-dev mailing list