GRASS business

David Mandel dmandel at
Fri Apr 11 21:56:17 EDT 1997

On Sat, 12 Apr 1997, Yoshiro Nagao wrote:

> Hello
> I read a home page that your army gave the right of selling GRASS
> to L.A.S,  a Canadian company.
> Then is it possible for other company to apply GRASS technology,
> or else, GRASS source code, to its commercial product?

Yoshiro Nagao,
    GRASS was developed by US tax payers as public domain
software for the use and benefit of all.  As I understand the
copy restrictions on such software (and I am a government funded
freeware developer myself), private companies can add value by
doing ports, fixing bugs, and/or adding features and they may
charge for and restrict access to their work anyway they want.
But there is no way they or anyone else can restrict access to
the original public domain work.
    One of the reasons, I prefer writing freeware to proprietary
software is that proprietary software is owned by my employer.
Thus, I have no rights to my own work should I change employers.
As long as I write freeware, I have as much right to my own work 
(including source code) as anyone else in the world, and I may 
even understand the work better than others.  (And to think,
someone actually pays me to do this. WOW.)
    Hence, feel free to do anything you want with GRASS.

                                               Dave Mandel

P.S.  Much non-government software is protected by GNU CopyLeft.
This agreement is quite different.  It assures the world open
access to the original work including source code; but it goes
further as says companies and individuals enhancing GNU CopyLeft
software MUST make their enhancements available to the public
under a GNU CopyLeft as well.

 David Mandel, Linux Activist             dmandel at
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