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Source : https://web.archive.org/web/20060204115808/https://kde.nl/apps/konsole/en/interview.html

How many book keeping programs have been written alone in Germany for particular companies, do you guess? 10.000, 100.000? How often do you think such programs have been sold by their producer? How much did they cost to produce, to maintain for the customers? How many different book keeping programs does a society need? If you're one of the companies who ordered such a program, would it be "commercial" to release the source under the GPL and share the cost of production and maintenance even with your worst competitors?

Another example, just like the first. How many programs do you think were written for just one customer, are only used by him and, in a likely way written for many others? The sources of such programs just sit in some cabinet and get older. How many hundreds of billions of dollars do you think are wasted this way? Wouldn't it be "commercial" to release these programs under the GPL and start a big big market with service and reuse around them?

Both examples show, that a huge commercial potential lies in a clever construction of source licenses and source reuse. Perhaps, the GPL is one of most clever one ever made, as it helped to create the whole GNU/Linux thing and much more.

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Take Troll Tech approach for example, which clearly is one successful commercial approach for a library style of products. Oh, and do you perhaps believe IBM's, Oracle's, SGI's, Sun's or Novell's contributions are any but for charity?


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