Michael Gurstein on Sun, 8 Jul 2001 23:19:46 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Fw: [ox-en] Why is Microsoft Attacking the GPL?

This may be of interest...


----- Original Message -----
From: "Russell McOrmond" <russell@flora.ottawa.on.ca>
To: "oekonux english" <list-en@oekonux.org>
Cc: "Free/Open-Source Software Community Networking/Computing"
Sent: Sunday, July 08, 2001 8:50 AM
Subject: Re: [ox-en] Why is Microsoft Attacking the GPL?

> On Tue, 3 Jul 2001, Stefan Meretz wrote:
> > http://www2.linuxjournal.com/articles/currents/0032.html
> >
> > Why is Microsoft Attacking the GPL?
> > Mr. Gates made the following statement last week to a CNET News.com
> > reporter: "The ecosystem where you have free software and commercial
> > software--and customers always get to decide which they use--that's a
> > very important and healthy ecosystem", Gates told the interviewer. But
> > the GPL, Gates says, "breaks that cycle--that is, it makes it impossible
> > for a commercial company to use any of that work or build on any of that
> > work. So what you saw with TCP/IP or Sendmail or the browser could never
> > happen. We believe there should be free software and commercial
> > software; there should be a rich ecosystem that works around that."
>   There is an important misconception being conveyed here which we, the
> Free Software community, seem to be allowing.  That is that the 'opposite'
> of Free Software is "Commercial Software" when in fact the opposite is
> *proprietary* software.   Gates is trying to make linear two totally
> different axis given that you can have Free Software that is Commercial,
> and proprietary software that is non-commercial.
>   There are many commercial companies, such as my own, that almost
> exclusively use Free Software in their solutions to customers.  The real
> "software ecosystem" is not harmed by using Free Software.  In fact, it is
> using Free Software (specifically the GPL with it's "derivative insurance
> policy") that protects that very ecosystem given that it is proprietary
> software that breaks the cycle since if a non-paying commercial customer
> (EG: an academic researcher, home user, whatever) were to "use any of that
> work or build on any of that work" it is called "software piracy", and
> Microsoft themselves are active in trying to have people charged for it.
>   I wrote an article about this long ago, hoping to have a change made to
> the Hackers Dictionary (currently maintained by Eric S. Raymond, who
> largely created the Open Source philosophical separation from the Free
> Software movement), and many of these updates were made:
>   http://www.flora.ca/commercial-software.shtml
> ---
>  Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/>
>  RMS clarifies Freedom http://www.gnu.org/press/2001-05-04-GPL.html
>  New Campaign for Fuel Subsidy Honesty! http://www.flora.org/taxpayer/
>  Proprietary education/government    http://mai.flora.org/forum/27389
> _______________________
> http://www.oekonux.org/

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