Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
First of all you cannot patent PD code. Again if a corporation utilizes the code they still cannot take the original code out of PD. Once PD always PD. It's just the same if a project utilizing the GPL changes licenses afterwards. The code that was licensed as GPL shall remain GPL and everything after the license change is new new license. There have been instances of this in the past. So what do people do they take they build off of the original GPL code.

In the real world PD has proven very successful. Take a look again at sqlite. It started off as a hobby, has always been PD and if the corporations wish to have a license (for the lawyers peace of mind) on it they may have one for a $1000. The author of sqlite never intended for it to be his main source of income but it has evolved into a thriving project without lack of funding and gives the author a very comfortable source of income. It is his full time job. So in the real world PD does work, and is not a worst case scenario which you present. Adobe, Apple, MS, Google, Sun and many more purchase these licenses and provide the developer with a very comfortable living and allows him to continue full time development on it.
Oh when I speak for general benefit I don't mean just financial of course. The harm I spoke of hadn't to do just with economical scales but the general impact that proprietary software can have and has in the world. Many licenses are good for the owners for making money, especially the proprietary ones. So while its good the owner of sqlite to have a good living through his valuable project, it doesn't prove public domain is an economic (and not only) panacea.