Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 18th Apr 2006 17:49 UTC
Linux Efforts to bring glitzy new graphics to Linux are fueling an old conflict: Does proprietary software belong in open-source Linux? The issue involves software modules called drivers, which plug into the kernel at the heart of the open-source operating system. Drivers let software communicate with hardware such as network adapters, hard drives and video cards.
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Sorry, but I can't agree with your statement. Beside the (in principal desireable, but very hard to achieve on large scales) state of an anarchy (in the original sense of meaning), most systems try to preserve their freedoms by putting restrictions in front of things, that could harm this freedoms.

It's convenient to rob a bank, if you don't have money, but (this is just an educated guess, mind you) most people won't tolerate this, since it interferes with their own freedom (e.g. to have money in this bank or banks in general).

This is of course a silly, simple example. But it should illustrate, that most people seem to be able to live with a limited set of restrictions, that helps to prevail basic freedoms. It can get difficult to draw the line what rules are necessary to prevail the freedom of the people within a system (simply because the definition of freedom can differ), compared to when rules get too tight.

With respect to the Linux kernels policy regarding closed source kernel modules, this is a restriction I can both understand and live well with, since the license the kernel is distrubuted (exclusively, I might add) under rules this possibility out. If my memory serves me right, the first license the linux kernel was distributed under was more restrictive than the GPL, so with the GPL (and it's restrictions), they settled for the license they (= the kernel creators) thought to fit their needs and goals best. If you do not agree with their findings, you have several options left :

You are entitled to try to build something similar yourself, because it's not (despite the things some people might try to convince you) illegal to develope your onw OS kernel in most countries. You also have (as in theaters or cinemas) the right to leave, if what you see doesn't pleases you. In most cases however, you are not entitled to get your money back, if you leave five minutes before the film ends.



If someone probably tries to wind up one of this lame "which one is more free, the GPL or the BSD license?" discussions most of us seem to be already sick of : Please, don't turn this into one !

(To put it short and simple : I'm a GPL guy and *I* find what is commonly refered to be the BSD license and the GPL license to be equally free, since they both provide the same four freedoms, which is the reason, why the BSD is one way compatible with the GPL. The BSD is less restrictive, which I find somehow problematic in the light of aboves statements, and that's one of the reasons, why I prefer the GPL)

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