Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 13th Jun 2006 22:16 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source It's time for the Windows and Linux communities to drop the religious war and get together in a hurry to put the strengths of each operating system to best use, according to a nationally recognized authority on Windows Server. At the same time, Microsoft has been reaching out to the open-source community to try to find ways to overcome the incompatibilities between software distributed under the GNU General Public License and its own commercial software.
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RE: GPL
by butters on Wed 14th Jun 2006 00:57 UTC in reply to "GPL"
butters
Member since:
2005-07-08

I'd like to live in a world where you're right, but unfortunately, almost every time I think I'm being too cynical, I'm proven wrong. In our society, people live and die for money, not for each other or for the good of the whole. The GPL leverages copyright to create a world where people work for each other's mutual benefit, and everything that can be demonitized, is. Society is religion, and religion is society. Please excuse Stallman for being cynical, and please excuse yourselves for not being cynical enough.

Please also excuse Theo de Raadt for not being cynical enough, because he had to make emotional pleas for big business to support the broke OpenSSH project. And when these big businesses were asked by the media to comment, their PR morons said that they didn't use OpenSSH, while in fact they were in fact using rebranded versions of this very software. Please excuse me for not wanting my software to suffer the same fate, regardless of how incredibly useful and widely deployed it becomes.

You see, the "zealots" you refer to aren't wasting their time arguing (presumably you meant "amongst themselves"). They, myself included, are spending some time trying to explain to staunch BSD supporters why their licenses cause situations where big companies make lots of money off of their software and leave them scraping for donations to pay for bandwidth. Yes, they reach a broader audience (which is a very good justification for the license), but these additional users are precisely the ones that capitalise and never give back. If this situation is fine with you, then by all means, release your software under a BSD license. You are a far more generous person than I, and I commend you for your thankless philanthropy. I'm really not being sarcastic, I'm dead serious.

I, too, like to see people build cool software, but I also like to use it. I couldn't use more than a few proprietary software titles, even if I really wanted to, because they're just too expensive. If I would stand to generate income based on the features of the software, then it would be a sound investment. But the majority of computer users use software to improve their general quality of life, not to make money. If my personal choices are beginning to impact Microsoft's (and others') revenue streams, then I know I'm doing something right. We're showing the world that software doesn't have to be expensive if people work together (which is one of the major things that computers allow us to do anyway).

There will always be a profitable market for proprietary software, but most software doesn't have to be closed. The GPL is really a wildly successful experiment originally designed to figure out just how broadly the principles of free software can be applied in the real world. So successful that the pressures for proprietary software to interop with free software are threatening to force proprietary software vendors to open up parts of their code, too. These conflicts are not justifications for why free software has outgrown its need for the GPL or for why the GPL is becoming a barrier to the adoption of free software. On the contrary, these conflicts are the first real signs of the GPL beginning to work for the benefit of all software users, not just for the users of free software.

Finally, I'm getting tired of people bitching on the web about stuff not being as they want it to be and then standing idle while other people who are trying to do something about it are called zealots. Maybe we're dead wrong, but you can't fault us for . Thomas Jefferson was a zealot. Copernicus, Ghandi, and Jesus were, too. So was Hitler. So if you're going to call Stallman a zealot, you'd better qualify that as a good or bad thing. It's hard to be a modern-day prophet in a world where any fool can voice his/her opinions. Its easy for the greatest minds of our time to be lost amongst a sea of mindless drivel, and yet Stallman has managed to touch the lives of many millions of ordinary people. Regardless of how he and his free software movement may be judged in the history books, it is hard to argue against zealotry in general as an impetus for social progress.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: GPL
by djohnston on Wed 14th Jun 2006 02:39 in reply to "RE: GPL"
djohnston Member since:
2006-04-11

Extremely well said!

Reply Parent Score: 1