|In reply to Comment 98 (Anonymous):|
There are a number of answers to this. In random order:
(a) Amithlon needed to make money. I spent about a man-year programming it, and I simply couldn't have justified doing so if there wasn't the prospect of money at the end (as it is, I ended up losing tens of thousands of dollars compared to simply accepting paid employment --- but at least there was the *chance* of coming out ahead; With the GPL, that would have been impossible)
(b) Amithlon, to work as it did, needed to include non-free third party code (Picasso96, Kickstart and AmigaOS 3.9). Not as on option, not as something the user may choose to install at their own leisure, but deeply embedded into the product; You can't do that with a GPL'ed product (H&P might disagree, but then, they are known not to share my value system, which includes not violating other people's licenses)
(c) I am certainly not trying to get away from the GPL. I have released as much as I could under the GPL --- most prominent the JIT compiler for UAE. But also all the sample programs on the Amithlon CD were under the GPL. Same for PuhDerBaer (yes, that had to be GPL, just like the Amithlon linux kernel --- but it would have been, anyway). And I tried my dmandest, both during contract negotiations as well as during the product life, to make sure that H&P complied with their AmigaXL. If you know what to search for, you will find over a decade of GPL contributions by me, including the first implementation of the "noatime" mount flag for linux, a very early deamnd-loader for linux modules, the magic keyboard extensions, and much more. The RC5-64 core on many Alpha platforms was lovingly handcoded by me (yeah, it's not GPL, but its still freely distributable). I think I also released some of the code from my PhD thesis under the GPL.
I like the idea of the GPL. But I can also see that it isn't always the right license, and for Amithlon, it wasn't. For most things I release, it is, and then I use it.
Of course, in two days time, the Amithlon contract will be over beyond a shadow of a doubt, beyond debate, beyond any possible challenge, and while point (b) of course stands, I will at least have the chance to look at things anew without having to think about point (a). Considering how sick I am of work right now, I am tempted to take December off (at full pay) and do something fun that doesn't need to earn money :)