L. Peter Deutsch Interview


Interview with the creator of Ghostscript, one of if not the pioneer of dual licensing over GPL.

I found this very, very worthwhile. So much is crystallized here that I wish I’d been able to absorb directly, way back when.

Covers history of Ghostscript, the Aladdin license, relationship with Stallman, and other goodies.

Some teaser samples:

With respect to licensing, I didn’t realize there were other options for drawing the lines about permitted commercial uses, and I didn’t appreciate the existence of the GPL’s “free rider” problem.

The essence of the Aladdin license I can describe in one sentence and it is very much about social contracts.

Namely, that if you are willing to play by what I think are the 1960s rules, then the Aladdin license gives you exactly the same rights and benefits as the GPL…

The philosophical weight of this is that if you want to play by cooperative rules, you get the benefits of Aladdin’s work within the context of those rules. If you are not playing by the cooperative rules, then it’s going to cost you something to have the rights to get the value from Aladdin software.

I set up Artifex as a separate entity so that I could be as free as possible from the day-to-day operations of the business. At first, they were simply a licensing agent for me.

But the initial authorship of the software is a service.

1 Like