CCL:G: Filters; really Gaussian, Inc. and funding

 Sent to CCL by:
 I must confess to being completely confused by this discussion.  It
 attempts to somehow create two groups - those who receive government
 funding and should give away their products for free, and those who don't
 receive funding and may charge for their services/products.  It baffles me
 that anyone thinks there is a single product on the market in the United
 States that hasn't benefitted in some way from government funding.
 First and foremost, corporations frequently apply for, and receive,
 government research grants.  I doubt anyone truly expects IBM, Phillips or
 Ford Motor Company to give away their products.  Thus, there really is no
 distinction between academic groups (or scientific corporations such as
 Gaussian, Inc.) and your friendly local Fortune 500 company.  To treat one
 differently than the other makes no sense to me.
 Secondly, companies are often the happy beneficiaries of tax breaks,
 "economic incentives" or whatever else you want to call them.  Sure,
 type of government funding is very slightly more opaque in that the
 company only gets to keep its own money.  But ultimately the other tax
 payers have to pay more taxes to make up for the money not paid by the
 company, and the result is the same: the "little guy" pays more money,
 the "big guy" has a little more money.
 And finally, we all understand that the government paid for the roads that
 a company's employees must drive on to get to work, the sewers that carry
 water into and out of the company, the police that keep the employees safe
 and also the consumers safe so they can buy the company's products, the
 Social Security checks that allow the company to pay artificially low
 wages because the employees don't need to truly fully fund their own
 retirement, etc. etc. etc.  If the government doesn't pay for these
 things, the company must, so these things are also clearly "government
 funding" of the company.
 Drawing some line in the air and saying that software produced using some
 sort of government funding MUST be free but it is OK to sell government
 funded computers, razors, cameras and cars just doesn't make any sense to
 me.  Also, drawing a line in the air and saying research grants are
 government funding that matters, but other types of government funding
 don't matter just doesn't make any sense to me either.
 Dave Giesen
 (An employee of the Eastman Kodak Company expressing his own private