Putting a price on it
Posted Oct 14, 2004 23:37 UTC (Thu) by giraffedata
In reply to: Why does anyone care what Merkey thinks?
Parent article: Buying the kernel
He offered $50K; my calculations estimate that it would cost $612 million (US) to redevelop the Linux kernel.
I'm certain that Microsoft's leaders would have a good laugh if they were given an offer of $50K for the copyright to Windows or Office.
Well, not's not confuse apples with oranges.
First of all, Merkey did not offer to buy the copyright. He offered to buy a copyright license. The crucial difference is that if his offer were accepted, everyone else would continue to have the right to distribute and modify the Linux kernel.
Second, in any pricing, there are two sides -- what it's worth to the buyer and what it's worth to the seller. Microsoft would have to demand a huge sum for a copyright license to Windows because Microsoft would lose a ton of revenue to the competition. What do the Linux copyright holders have to lose? A lot less.
Third, I doubt that redeveloping the Linux kernel is Merkey's second best alternative, so the license is worth nowhere near $612M to him.
It would be really interesting to see someone like Merkey just go ahead and take the code and settle the claims of the copyright holders as they come forth. The damages under law might be pretty reasonable.
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