The underlying theme it seems would be greed. If a small inventor was concerned only with servicing a particular need, than they shouldn't have much issue. Thier motivation to be a basement company one night, and something the size of Google the next seems to cloud their judgement.
Many people these days just want to 'get rich and quick'. This mentality is in direct conflict with the mindset of small business. Small business is all about community and the network of clientele and respect you build up by servicing your clients with respect and expectation. (do what you say, it goes farther than most people think!)
When you hold the 'rights' to your idea too high, they inflate in proportion with one's ego and the rise / fall of the almighty ruler (the dollar).
Didn't the dot com bust teach people about the devaluation of an idea?
[...] Getting a settlement with AOL has taken FAR FAR longer than we would
have ever guessed. On legal advise, we have refrained from any non-beta
release during this process as a show of good faith, and to keep AOL
from giving up on it. Again, on legal advise, we have also kept this
information closely embargoed.
At long last, I am pleased to announce, that we have a signed
settlement, and can again release. There is one catch however, we have
had to change the project's name.
After long, and unfortunately secret (as we could not say why we were
looking at a name change, we ended up just doing this ourselves),
debate, we settled on the name "Pidgin" for gaim itself, "libpurple" for
libgaim (which, as of 2.0.0 beta6, exists), and "finch" for gaim-text.
Yes, the spelling of "Pidgin" is intentional.
Since between the name, and the nature of the 2.0.0 release itself, so
much is changing, we decided to go ahead with something we have talked
about doing for a while now anyway. We have gotten our own server,
kindly donated by DVLabs. As a result our new home will be
http://www.pidgin.im/ and developer.pidgin.im We, at least for now, will still
be using SF's mirroring system for releases. However, the bug tracking
will no longer be on SF, and we will be migrating the mailing lists at
some point soon. Also, we have chosen to go with monotone for our
revision control, rather than the SF cvs or svn. [...]"