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Re: GPL tested in Court

  • Subject: Re: GPL tested in Court
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 17 May 2006 15:49:58 +0100
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Organization: schestowitz.com / MCC / Manchester University
  • References: <1147869965.442127.253030@u72g2000cwu.googlegroups.com> <1147872275.18564.0@damia.uk.clara.net> <1147874331.73740.0@iris.uk.clara.net>
  • Reply-to: newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • User-agent: KNode/0.7.2
__/ [ Jamie Hart ] on Wednesday 17 May 2006 14:59 \__

> BearItAll wrote:
>> Daeron wrote:
>>> Wallace v. IBM, Novell, Red Hat - Dismissed with Prejudice
>>> http://www.groklaw.net/pdf/Wallace-IBM-Dismiss.pdf
>> I can't see why he picked IBM, Novell and Redhat, none of them own Linux,
>> they are contributers and aid distribution, but none would really claim to
>> own the GPL system.

That's the best part. It's a philosophy or idealogy which is attributed
principally to a bunch of academics. It shields those who wish to embrace it
and help deliver innovative software more quickly. Nuke CMS's are (at least
to me) a prime example of this. You shall see how the GPL model inherits the
Earth. Best of all, Earth will have no ownership. Even Google are BSD'd

>> But at the same time when you think about it they could be a case, because
>> everyone in GPL Has fixed a price and being such a low price it does
>> interfere with or inhibit the launch of competition.
> No it doesn't.  It inhibits the launch of "expensive" competition.
> Anyway, we don't want competition, we want choice, the more the merrier.
> If their product is good enough, we'll buy it.

*raises glass* OUCH! Hot, hot coffee. This is bad...

>> It does in fact do the oposite to what we want, we want people with the
>> skills to develop and inspire the computing world, whether that be on
>> Linux or not, to take us all forward. But if our pricing prevents that
>> then arn't we doing the very thing that MS is seen as doing, inhibiting
>> innovation and development?

I don't agree. I think this is the more instinctive interpretation, which
says that cost is being fixed at 0. In reality, you benefit because:

        * The wheel is rare, if ever, re-invented

        * There is incentive and resources (exiting code) for people to
          _improve_ that wheel

        * Projects are merging more naturally, which makes development more
          cohesive (communal)

There are more factors, but the above sprung to mind as quickly as I typed.
Overall, the greatest of benefits are society's. Rather than using some
lousy CMS because the budget does not permit something better, suddenly you
have poor people from third-world countries running Drupal, PHP-Nuke and
WordPress Web sites. This makes the Web a nicer place to be in. It also
makes people more productive or more idle due to automation. What is wrong
with that? Anything else is either extortion-ware or cripple-ware if you ask
me. It is intended to hinder innovation.

>> Do we really want to be the Only OS out there? Lets say that in 20 years
>> time MS is no more, just a few hobbyists left sending virus's to each
>> other just for old times sake and saying things to each other such as "Hey
>> do you remember the extra long coffee breaks we used to get each week when
>> the NT server would crash", but Linux is everywhere, no chance of anything
>> new because who could afford to challenge a system that can be gotten for
>> free. I don't think we really would want that.

Don't worry, Bear. People's skills will always be needed. If certain tasks
can be automated, new opportunities will emerge which are less 'mechanical'
in nature. I would rarely describe the task of booting a machine as exciting
or unique. It is utterly unnecessary. There remains plenty to be innovated
and with programmers and sysadmins around, attention can be focused where it
matters more. There will not be a redundancy, and speaking of which, I
consider virus purging and booting to be somewhat of a production-line-type
job. Telephone support with clients likewise (ask Tab).

Did you know that a recent survey described IT as the industry where people
are most stressful? I think that a town in the UK was number one for
something of that sort. A "suicidal IT expert" award was granted to it. This
study goes back just a couple a days ago and, if I recall correctly, it
suggested that 97 or 99% of the people in IT are under stress. Again, my
memory is likely to betray me here. I would like to find out what it is that
leads them surveyed people to being stressed. Could it be that data which
can be lost? Or that server that could collpase on a Sunday? In programming,
perhaps it's that fear of bugs that can lead to sacking.

> Personally, I've never wanted MS to disappear, they're necessary as an
> easy target for virusen/malware etc.  Without them, Linux would be a
> much bigger target, and, as good as the security is, it has been proven
> that exploits can be found.  I'd rather the scumbags were too busy
> infecting windows to bother with us.

I don't fully agree. I have nothing else to say. *smile* I just strongly

>> But goodness knows what we could do about it other than suggest that the
>> new OS writers release their OS on GPL and look for some other way to earn
>> a living. (I just heard someone say 'Why not!', well, get real, even
>> developers have to eat, mainly Mars bars, but at 28pence each you need an
>> income to support that).
> OSS developers have to eat too.  How are they managing it at the moment?

I can only speak for myself. I have a job which involves the offering of  IT
services. OSS is somewhat of a hobby, but it complements an otherwise boring
and dreary daytime job. Others can attest to the same experience. Remember:
life is not all about money and _excess_ does not bring happiness. You learn
this once you get there.

Lastly: rememeber that the world changes. Trends vary. You cannot reverse
society being just one person among 6 billion. You would better learn to
adapt, much like that chameleon (SuSE). Excuses and philo$ophy will not save
your day, so lift your head up and be proud of what IT industy evolves into.

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz
http://Schestowitz.com  |     GNU/Linux     ¦     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
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      http://iuron.com - next generation of search paradigms

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