Hiten Pandya wrote:
> why would RMS sue, lets say me, for porting IBM's
> piece of GPL'ed code to FreeBSD src/gnu.

RMS wouldn't, not being directly involved.  IBM might.

I am a former IBM employee, of IBM GSB division (Global Small
Business).  I became an IBM employee when IBM bought Whistle
Communications, Inc., which produced a SOHO connectivity
product called the InterJet.  This became the basis of the IBM
Web Connections offering (the purchase of Whistle was portrayed
as a time-to-market decision).

The InterJet II product is what funded the Soft Updates port
to FreeBSD.  The idea was to get rid of the internal UPS that
was otherwise required, to reduce the COGS (Cost Of Goods Sold).
With Soft Updates, we were able to replace the UPS with a power
supply with a large DC holdup time, and AC fail notification.
This work occured mostly before the IBM acquisition.

When the GPL JFS was announced, I tried within IBM for a year
to get the code under other terms for use in an IBM GSB product,
specifically, the InterJet.  The people involved were on a
religious/marketing GPL crusade, however.

If we had been able to use a JFS, we would have been able to get
rid of the remainder of the extra cost in the power supply, and
get our costs down further, by using an off-the-shelf supply.

Despite the fact that this was costing another division of IBM
money, the people releasing the JFS refused to relicense, even
for internal use only, the JFS code that they were giving away to
the Linux community (I'm sure that, if the AIX people had the code,
that it was possible, were we to commit a large enough chunk of our
operating budget, to get the code from the AIX people, but the
amortized cost of this would not have reduced our COGS).

With JFS under non-GPL'ed terms, we wuld have been able to get
perhaps another $120 per unit out of the final end customer cost.
In the U.S., this would have let us drop our subscription cost
$10/month.  In Japan, it would have dropped ~20,000 Yen from the
total per unit cost.

Forgive me if I don't think that someone outside IBM is going to
have any better luck than a group of high band people inside IBM
who could demonstrate a business case pertinenet to IBMs financial

-- Terry

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