Re: polarization

On Fri, Nov 03, 2000 at 12:54:30AM -0500, Havoc Pennington wrote:
> bruce perens com (Bruce Perens) writes:
> > I fear that in the future the foundation will also be about legal defense.
> > Of course, that's money too. I'm hoping that our new friends will remain by
> > our sides through patent lawsuits and so on. That's probably the true test of
> > them.
> > 
> All the more reason to avoid depending on a foundation that has large
> coffers - if we don't have an interesting amount of money, we can't
> get too upset if they sue us for it. The GNOME Project should be
> sufficiently independent of the foundation that it can continue
> without too much pain regardless of pending lawsuits against the
> foundation.
> Of course, a sufficiently hostile entity could go after member
> companies or individuals. But I think that's an exceptional crisis,
> certainly not the day-to-day business of the board, and I have no
> doubt that we'd be able to help individuals that needed it.

I think you miss Bruce's point here, Havoc.  No one is going to sue GNOME
for our money.  People are going to sue GNOME to shut us down.  Tommorow, 
when Microsoft decides that we are infringing its patent on little gray
bars on the bottom of the screen, they aren't going to be interested in 
how much money they can squeeze us for, any more than the MPAA is interested
in how much money Eric Corely has in his savings account.  

And when that time comes, someone will have to put up the money to defend
GNOME.  And it won't be cheap, not by a long shot.  So even if you don't
want the foundation to have lots of money, someone will have to.  
Personally, I would rather have the GNOME foundation be that, than some
assortment of companies on the advisory board, or worse, some assortment
of private developers.  

	sam th		     
	sam uchicago edu
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