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RMS Cuts Through Some SCO FUD 877

Posted by timothy
from the scrupulous-thinking dept.
sckienle writes "ZD-Net has a commentary by Richard Stallman about the SCO case against IBM, kind of. It does provide some history on what the GNU organization did to protect itself from such lawsuits. Favorite quote: 'Less evident is the harm it does by inciting simplistic thinking: [Intellectual Property] lumps together diverse laws--copyright law, patent law, trademark law and others--which really have little in common.'"
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RMS Cuts Through Some SCO FUD

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  • by T40 Dude (668317) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @10:15AM (#6293443)
    however, I am most curious to know what IBM's commentary will be. Will they just wait until SCO drags them to court, or will they try to prevent that from happening. It seems (of course the only info I have is the daily /. SCO dose) that IBM is not very active yet. There are two potential explanations for that behavior.

    A) IBM knows that SCO has no case, and will stomp SCO when they feel like it.

    or

    B) IBM thinks that SCO may have a case, and is secretely preparing contingency plans on how to best resolve a potentially harmful and complex situation, thus needing a lot of time.

    For the sake of all involved, I hope it is option A !
  • At last ! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by HawkingMattress (588824) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @10:18AM (#6293474)
    I am the only one to wonder what RMS was doing during all those days of SCO FUD ? I mean i don't agree with all the things he says, but to me he has the key role of the gardian of the door, the "You shall not pass" man, damnit.
    So I expect him to defend the GPL, and not only with words...

    Now I'll admit he can have some vacations like everybody , heh. Must be pretty tiring to be a full-time RMS ;)
  • by mirko (198274) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @10:19AM (#6293486) Journal
    Hackles also refered to this soaft (saop+soft) opera :
    it's here [hackles.org]
  • Re:Okay, mod me down (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ajm (9538) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @10:23AM (#6293512)
    If I had mod points now I would. What this article provides is a good attempt to cut throught the FUD and make clear that it's the kernel that's under attack, and that the term "IP" is very misleading. People commenting on SCO need to think more clearly, and explain more clearly, what the issues are, what the GPL claims etc. SCO and it's lawyers will try to muddy the waters at every turn, copyright is different from patents is different from ...

    BTW, what is it with your critisism of the way RMS looks? When you've contributed enough to the community that people will care to listen to your opinion then you can have a little picture of you posted next to your articles and we can all have a good laugh about the way you look.
  • by jobsagoodun (669748) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @10:23AM (#6293516)
    There are two potential explanations for that behavior. A) IBM knows that SCO has no case, and will stomp SCO when they feel like it. or B) IBM thinks that SCO may have a case,

    I think its most likley A, as SCO have been doing a whole load of talking, and not much else: "We're going to sue you!", "We're really going to sue you!" , "We're really really going to sue you!", "Hey everyone, we're really going to sue them, really!", etc...etc...

    I'm expecting IBM to turn up to court with some big ammo; not much will happen before then unless SCO pisses off one of IBMs customers or something.

  • Re:Copyleft? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Suppafly (179830) <slashdot@@@suppafly...net> on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @10:23AM (#6293517)
    why would you have snickered at that?
  • by Vaulter (15500) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @10:27AM (#6293545)
    How much do you wanna bet that RMS is secretly hoping the SCO's suit against IBM prevails, so that no one will touch the Linux kernel with a ten foot pole.

    At that point, RMS steps in and says, "No problem, just install the HURD kernel, and continue on..."

    That entire article was basically RMS saying, "But it's only the linux _kernel_, not the system. If you put our kernel in, you are O.K."

    So much for defending _all_ GPL software.

  • by argoff (142580) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @10:28AM (#6293550)

    [Intellectual Property] lumps together diverse laws--copyright law, patent law, trademark law and others--which really have little in common.'"

    This is true, but in each case "intellectual property" is still a dishonest concept. With Trademarks - it is dishonest, because most trademark violations could better be covered under fraud laws where cases like suing people for painting a mickey mouse on the preschool walls is much less likely. But going after someone who claims to be IBM when they're not is still just as possible.

    Copyrights and patents monopolies are dishonest applications of property all together. Both of them restrict what others can do because "I don't have an incentive!". That is a fraud, perhaps I don't have an incentive to grow potatos unless I can rip up your yard and plant some too, perhaps I don't have an incentive to process cotton unless I can own slaves on the plantaion. This kind of logic has resulted in countless murders and atrocities for centuries. I challenge anyone to prove that they have a moral right to restrict what inventions and creative works people can copy and immitate.

  • by notfancy (113542) <matiasNO@SPAMk-bell.com> on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @10:29AM (#6293559) Homepage

    I'm sick of the guys' posturing. Why can't he just let go?

    I propose to rename GNU/Linux to GSD Linux, as in "GNU Software Distribution".

  • by ProteusQ (665382) * <dontbother@no w h e r e.com> on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @10:32AM (#6293582) Journal
    [My Journal from June 2, 2003]

    Allow me to go out on a limb. I'm not claiming to know what the next big thing in Linux will be. I'm thinking of what will arrive by, say, 2006: Operating Systems.

    OK, I've stated the obvious, right? No, not really.

    I either smuggly smirk or bury my head in my hands when Linux Evangelists state that Linux is an OS. It's a kernel. FreeBSD is an OS. Debian is an OS. Gentoo is an OS. It happens that Debian and Gentoo run the same kernel, and a different kernel than FreeBSD.

    In other words, the emphasis is going to shift away from what Linus, et. al., are doing with Linux to what others are making from Linux.

    Why? The Linux kernel is a groovy, funky piece of technology, and it's the heart of a movement. But hearts don't live outside of rib cages. Kernels don't run without OS's. Companies don't migrate high-end, mission critical servers to OS's that barely run the super-fast kernel beating at its center. They want -- scratch that, they need a full OS that does the job. Whether the kernel is trendy or not doesn't matter in the end.

    FreeBSD has shown that a free, stable, solid Unix-like OS system is possible. If not for its license (sorry, BSD license lovers), it might have stood a chance at the top spot in the Free OS world. Debian and Gentoo have shown the first real movement toward something like a complete OS on the Linux side, especially Debian. Deb was first, and it's still around, but it's stodgy to the point of ridiculousness (from the POV of a power user). Thank God for Gentoo.

    Sure, Gentoo may not be ready for mission critical servers simply because it offers you the latest, untested code. But power users get their candy and their popped-up engine. And how sweet it is.

    For anything that must stay up, that's when Debian wins points for its stodginess. And here's the kicker: you get to choose your kernel.

    This is the development that turned on the little light-bulb that floats above my head. This is the future of Linux.

    Think about it: Debian runs on the Linux kernel, the Hurd kernel (no chuckling, please), and the NetBSD kernel. So, which OS runs on the most hardware in the world?

    Debian! (10 points.) What does this mean? That we're moving away from a kernel-centric universe. It's not which kernel to choose from, it's which OS. A savvy sysadmin can just install Debian everywhere, choosing the kernel that fits the situation. The key phrase won't be: "I must run Linux." It will be: "I must run Debian." Choosing the kernel will secondary to getting the right OS. I doubt it will be long before Debian is joined in this effort by Gentoo or a similar project

    So, how does an OS-centric universe differ from a kernel-centric? For one, Richard Stallman might get the recognition he feels has been wrongly given to Linus. For another, "GNU" will be just as important a word as "Linux", which again will make RMS a much happier camper. On a technical level, the emphasis will shift from the sophomoric question of "Do you run Linux?" to "Which OS do you run?" Debian with a 2.2 Linux kernel. Debian with NetBSD. Gentoo with a development kernel. FreeBSD, modified with OpenBSD security, running a NetBSD kernel. Whatever. Hackerdom may offer near unlimited possibilities.

    The point is, the whole OS will finally be greater than the sum of its parts. Watch for the Linux kernel to lose prominence (slightly) as OS's that offer specific features (stability, the latest-and-greatest, etc.) begin to move to the forefront of user consciousness. Watch for a port of Gentoo to include a non-Linux kernel; watch for Debian to support a fourth kernel; watch for a commerical product that produces custom OS's based on Free and Open Source software that emphasizes the Linux kernel without excluding other options.

    Yes, Linux Evangelists will kick and scream, but for the wrong reasons. If this scenario comes to pass, the world will be filled a much better breed operating systems than we have now.


    Linux itself is no longer essential: the GNU system became popular in conjunction with Linux, but today it also runs with two BSD kernels and the GNU kernel.
    - RMS, June 23, 2003
    Nice to beat RMS to the punch. ;)

  • by OldAndSlow (528779) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @10:42AM (#6293653)
    I think it is C) waiting to see what cards SCO is holding. IBM has a lot to lose, and they are not going to do anything stupid. They have lots of experience with bet-the-company lawsuits.

    I'd bet that IBM is spending its energy digging into who owns what in the Unix world (wasn't the BSD suit sealed?). Getting that nailed down is much more important to the future of the company than exchanging PR accusations with SCO.

    There will be a period in this (and every) lawsuit called "discovery." During discovery, SCO gets to grill IBM about relevent matters, and IBM gets to grill SCO. At that point SCO has to show the infringing code. And then IBM will figure out where every line came from, who owns it, and then probably counter sue for tortuous interference with IBM's business (those letters to customers).

    In this case it is SCO that has bet the company. I bet they lose.


    IANAL
  • Re:Wow... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rogerborg (306625) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @10:44AM (#6293668) Homepage

    You're confusing two things. RMS newspeak (GNUspeak?) means exactly squat. Maybe a dozen hippies worldwide care about it, and Linus isn't one of them. What does count is his paranoid-bordering-on-schitzophrenic obsession with making sure that GNU's Not Unix is true in fact as well as rhetoric.

    He'll get his though. Sooner or later, one of the GNU (not Linux) contributors who hasn't assigned copyright to the FSF will go off in a huff, send a cease-and-desist, explicitely revoke the implicitely licensed GPL right to duplicate their source (note: license != contract), and then bring a suit for copyright infringement if the FSF distribute even one more copy of their source.

    To achieve his dream, the GPL needs to mandate (at most) assigning copyright to the FSF, or (at least) demanding that the distribution license is irevocable and in perpetuity and that patent licenses must also be so and be explicitely disclosed and licensed in GPL source distributions.

    It won't happen, because to do so would highlight that GPL version 2 does not demand this. Oopsie.

  • by Bull999999 (652264) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @10:48AM (#6293715) Journal
    I believe that Sun may have more to gain from SCO FUD than M$. SCO even made comments were even M$ OSes may have violated its IP by have trace of UNIX-likeness. SCO stated that Sun is only one who is free and clear from any future law suit, the fact that Sun itself like to flaunt. Think about it.

    At first, Sun bashed Linux. When it seemed like Linux was here to say, they decided to praise it and started producing Linux products. After the SCO law suit, Sun jumped on the SCO FUD bandwagon and pushed its products over Linux and AIX as the safe alternative. Iâ(TM)ve decided that from now on, Iâ(TM)ll trust Sun as much as Iâ(TM)ll trust M$.
  • 80 lines of code.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by wfberg (24378) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @10:49AM (#6293719)
    What's that? 80 lines of infringing code?! Quick, replace the linux kernel *entirely* with the Hurd!!

    I wonder if RMS would be willing to swap out the entire GNU system if a Ctrl-Meta-Compose option in EMACS turned out to be infringing someone's copyright/patent...
  • by FreeUser (11483) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @10:51AM (#6293731)
    It's just the standard FSF press release with "SCO" pencilled in. He barely even mentions SCO except to use it as the latest example of why everyone else in the world is a cretin for confusing GNU and Linux.

    Did you even read the article?

    If so, you are being profoundly obtuse, perhaps deliberately so, or perhaps merely so blinded by your hatred of Richard Stallman that you cannot see past your own prejudices and comprehend what he actually wrote.

    Richard Stallman has always been a stickler for licenses and for nomenclature. His entire GNU/Linux v. Linux crusade boils down to nomenclature: he is a pendant about differentiating between one projecct (the linux kernel) and another (the GNU system of utilities and programs that makes up the rest of what we consider a basic *nix-like operating system). Right or wrong, his entire GNU/Linux bit is about clarity, the antithes of the 'newspeak' you accuse him of speaking, newspeak epitomized by terms such as "intellectual property" and nearly all of the drivel eminating from Redmond and Utah.

    Indeed, his entire article is about clarity with respect to the $CO nonsense, and how that clarity requires a clear, concise, and above all accurate use of language to be achieved.

    He is absolutely correct in pointing out that, outside of the court room, $CO's entire strategy is one of muddying the waters and playing up anti-freedom stereotypes ('free software developers' == 'napster', i.e. giving away your own work == violating the copyrights of others, etc.). Their press releases constantly mix up trademark law ($CO does not own the UNIX trademark, the Open Group does), copyright law (Novell and IBM appear to own the copyrights in question), patent law (Novell and IBM again own the patants in question, not $CO), and contract law under one heading: "Intellectual Property."

    RMS is absolutely correct in emphesizing that muddy language leads to muddy thinking, and with respect to $CO, using muddy terms such as "IP/Intellectual Property" and throwing all kinds of radically different legislative regimes into one pot inevitably plays into the hands of those who seek to sow confusion, fear, uncertaintly, and doubt, namely Microsoft and their current lackey, $CO.

    He is correct in pointing out that this irresponsible misuse of terminology is getting us into trouble, and being used by $CO's propogandists masterfully. He is also right to point out that much of the confusion as to what part of the operating system (the linux kernel, other utilities, or what have you) were being targeted result from an obfuscation between was in Linux (the kernel) and what is not (the GNU system, xfree, etc.).

    In short, he is right, our use of language is important if we wish to discuss and think about issues as complex as these in a coherent manner, and your ad homonem attack doesn't change that in the least.

    And since his article deals with the importance of clarity in the use of language when discussing and dissecting the $CO FUD campaign, no one should be surprised that he isn't discussing free v. open or the GNU community as such, since that particular tangent is off topic for this discussion (and obviously brought up by you for the sole purpose of propogating negative stereotypes about the man and his views).
  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @10:54AM (#6293752) Homepage
    Thanks, interesting article. Although I have to point out that by saing "There's Cringely too" you kind of implied that RMS actually talked about SCO instead of just recycling the standard FSF "Say, would you like to try GNU Hurd?" press release.
  • Today, GNU runs with various kernels including Linux, the GNU Hurd (our kernel), and the NetBSD kernel. It is basically the same system, whichever kernel you use. Has anyone actually seen GNU Hurd run anything outside of a testing situation? Nothing against RMS, but isn't it about time to put Hurd to rest?
  • by reallocate (142797) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @11:01AM (#6293829)
    Every time I read the actual words of Richard Stallman, I can't help but ask "What planet is he on??"

    His assertion that copying Unix code is not unethical is curious. Let's suppose I'm a teacher, and young Richard turns in a history paper that I recognize as a verbatim lift from the encyclopedia. I give hime a failing grade. He asks why. I tell him he cheated when he copied from the encyclopedia. Cheating, at least on my planet, is considered unethical.

    Now, let's suppose young Richard then goes to his Beginning Programming course and turns in some coding homework. Being sharp-eyed and an Bell Labs veteran, the teacher spots code lifted verbatim from Unix. Richard gets another failing grade for cheating.

    Yet, today, Stallman seems to argue that copyright s on Unix code prevent him from otherwise engaging in what he considers an ethical act: "sharing" someone else's code.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @11:02AM (#6293835)
    If RMS hadn't started done the GNU project way back when he did, we would still be working out zillions of bugs in things like ls, rm, mv, getty, etc.

    So how come the BSDs aren't innundated with bugs in these utilities?
  • Re:Copyleft? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Vryl (31994) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @11:19AM (#6294004) Journal
    Copyleft is more like judo or aikido ... it uses the force of copyright against itself. That is, it relies totally on copyright to have legal force.

    It's why you should snicker when you here comments like 'the GPL has never been tested in court'. Ha ha ...

    It has been tested in court since copyright began.
  • Another Dead Horse (Score:3, Interesting)

    by istartedi (132515) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @11:23AM (#6294048) Journal

    [Intellectual Property] lumps together diverse laws--copyright law, patent law, trademark law and others--which really have little in common.'"

    class IPLaw : public Law
    {
    /* overrides from Law */
    int GovernsTangible();
    int* ConstitutionalReferences();
    int IsFederalOnly();

    /* virtual functions of IP law */
    virtual double TimeLimit();
    virtual int RequiresRegistration();
    /* ...various other characteristics... */
    };

    class CopyrightLaw : public IPLaw
    {
    double TimeLimit();
    int RequiresRegistration();
    };

    /* other subclasses of IPLaw */

    /* Implementations left to the reader */

    The point being, "Intellecual Property" is a superclass and the copyright, trademark, etc. are just subclasses. Certainly these laws all have more in common with eachother than they do with, oh, say... export regulations or farm policy.

    This business of RMS refusing to recognize the relationship is right up there with "GNU/Linux" as one of the top 10 dead horses that he likes to beat. Others include "don't say piracy", "free as in freedom" etc.

    Now, if RMS wants to invalidate the concept of IP, he's perfectly welcome to do that, but for cryin' out loud RMS, don't you have anything better than a mantra of logical fallacies and slogans with which to back up your arguments?

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @11:31AM (#6294131) Homepage

    > It's goal was to fight the smear campaign against GNU, Linux, et al.

    What article are you reading? The one I'm reading says that GNU's Not linUx, that GNU's not liable, and that GNU doesn't need Linux. Maybe it's because I've met RMS, so I can hear his voice reading this out, but what I'm hearing, sotto vocce, is that RMS has been warning Linus about this for years, and Linux can go screw itself as far as he's concerned.

    > GNU, Linux, whoever

    No, just GNU. Linux can go screw itself.

  • by Sajarak (556353) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @11:38AM (#6294183) Homepage
    RMS (and many other people here) seem so complacent about this

    I get the feeling that RMS isn't just complacent about the replacement of Linux, but indeed eager to see it go.

    The whole thing was going to be the FSF's revolution, but then along came some upstart Finn who actually managed to write a kernel, and was suddenly anointed by all but the afficionados as "the guy who started off the whole Free Software thing". GNU is now more popular and ubiquitous than ever but few people realise it. To add insult to injury, the Linux guys had the temerity to poplularise their own watered-down version of the FSF's Free Software philosophy, giving it the less threatening title of "Open Source", which went on to gain widespread popularity.

    RMS is basically pissed off about Linux doing as well as it has done, at the expense of the recognition of GNU. Understandable, in a way; but he doesn't seem to appreciate that a lot more people are aware of the FSF and what it stands for as a result of Linux doing so well.

    While I feel for him, this endless sniping at Linux just ends up making him look like a bit of a jerk.

  • Re:Wrong fight RMS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by surprise_audit (575743) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @11:41AM (#6294205)
    Just suppose for a moment that SCO is right in that all variations of Unix really are derivative works, and that therefore they own the copyrights...

    Unix, as an operating system, was clearly not the first ever operating system in the world. Multics, for example, predates Unix, and is even a direct ancestor, in that some of the Multics crowd went on to produce Unix. From www.multicians.org:

    1.4. Influence on other systems

    1.4.1. Unix
    Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie, the inventors of Unix, worked on Multics until Bell Labs dropped out of the Multics development effort in 1969. The Unix system's name is a pun on Multics attributed to Brian Kernighan. Some ideas in Multics were developed further in Unix.

    So, to a certain extent, doesn't that make Unix a derivative work of Multics, and therefore, using SCO's own logic, the Unix copyrights really belong to Honeywell (or whoever now owns Multics...)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @11:47AM (#6294262)
    This IS NOT a flame, but I honestly have to wonder about this weird tendency /.ers have to care about the political and other views of the "leaders" in this movement. Isn't it possible to say, "I like and use RMS's software, but I don't give a rat's ass what he thinks about things?"

    Personally, I stopped about what RMS and ESR think a long time ago. Linus is still interesting, but not because he played (and still plays) such a central role in the development of Linux.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @11:48AM (#6294272)
    Quote from the article:
    "To copy Unix source code would not be ethically wrong, but it is illegal".

    If it's illegal it's unethical by definition. It is wrong to copy Unix source code.

    About time RMS started living in the real world rather than an idealistic, intellectual ivory tower.
  • GNU is UNIX? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pstreck (558593) * on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @11:51AM (#6294296)
    I know GNU's Not UNIX, and RMS makes sure we know it. But GNU is a UNIX clone. No matter what RMS says, the GNU system is very similar to UNIX and I imagine that a GNU/Linux system is about 80% compliant with The Open Groups Single UNIX Specification. In addition RMS said, Unix is and always was non-free software, meaning that it denies its users the freedom to cooperate and to control their computers. What is this 1984? UNIX is an open standard now, UNIX is no longer this mass of proprietary code. GNU may not be UNIX, but it sure as heck wants to be... nuff said.
  • by aarondsouza (96916) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @12:00PM (#6294366)
    If you look at the two personalities that are most influential in the GNU/Linux combination, RMS and Linus (just my opinion of course), I think it's the individual personas of these two individuals that form a striking combination that makes "Linux" (as RMS is loth to call it) so popular.

    RMS is a philosopher, an evangelist. True, he's a brilliant coder too, but his primary mission now seems to be selling this "vision" that he alluded to in this article --- that of software (and consequently computing) without ownership limits.

    If you read Linus' interviews on the other hand, he tends to be much more pragmatic in his entire approach to life. He's more of a "ah to hell with all this lawyer bullshit --- this is excellent code for the kernel, let's put it in" kinda guy.

    If you look at the surge of "Linux" popularity over the last decade, it's primarily been the GNU/Linux combination that RMS refers to (although other combinations of GNU/* exist). I would think that it takes this combination of individuals to have this happen --- the idealistic evangelist in RMS, and the pragmatic engineer in Linus.

    I speak mainly from the point of view of being a graduate student. It is frequently this relationship between an advisor (providing the vision), and the student (with the hands on hacking/research) that bears fruit.

    I could be wrong... just my $.02

  • by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @12:42PM (#6294709) Journal
    make: There *is* an alternative make. I don't rember the name.


    BSD make? It's largely incompatible with gnumake. I suppose we can replace those nasty autotools with good old fashioned imake, as well.

    emacs: Ok, this is GNU.
    there is Lucid Emacs/XEmacs.

    Is the goal of this excercise to get rid of GPLed stuff, or simply to rid ourselves of GNU utilities?

    If it's the former, I'm sure you could, with a lot of effort, graft the linux kernel onto a BSD (thus earning the undying emnity of BSD pedantics who preach about the innate superiority of an integrated operating system over a disoganized group. that simply releases a kernel every few months and calls it an "operating system".

    If it's the latter, simply download the sources from GNU and fork them. Announce your intentions as loudly as possible. Mimic the flashiest new feature sets that you can find. Be sure to accept patches from anyone, anywhere, and for heaven's sake, don't ask you developers to assign copyrights to you.

    Within a couple of years, people will abandon the GNU toolset in droves, and start to contribute only to your forks. RMS will be left with a library of obsolete, incompatible, and neglected software. The BTG (Better than GNU) toolchain conquers on.

    Soon, a SCO will discover that some idiot has copied code from their sources, sue you for copyright infringement, and run your BTG operations into the ground. And then. RMS will gaze fondly at his beloved GNU, and laugh at your misfortune.

  • by hummassa (157160) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @12:43PM (#6294712) Homepage Journal
    [AC] This comment is really irking me. I have absolutely NO desire to run *BSD or his bullshit OS
    This is irritating me, too, because the AC, if running Debian, slack, mandrake, redhat, gentoo, or any other distro IS running "his bullshit OS", just isn't running "his kernel."
    [psxndc] Don't let RMS get to you.
    Better yet, let him get to you, understand why he thinks what he thinks and does what he does, and mainly respect the right he has to express freely his opinions, because you, me and a lot of other people, we are benefitting from his work, too (GPL, gcc, etc etc etc), so we could at least show some respect.
  • by autopr0n (534291) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @01:50PM (#6295259) Homepage Journal
    Cringely actualy knows who wrote this code Paul McKenney [linuxsymposium.org] at Sequent (now IBM). And how the code got there (Paul copied and pasted some of his own code into the Linux kernel). And exactly why SCO is wrong (They don't own the 'general concept' of RCU and other tech thought up by Sequent).

    This should be what slashdot linked too, not RMS's rant. Cringely did some real reporting and answered a lot of important questions.
  • by istartedi (132515) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @02:12PM (#6295465) Journal

    This is one of the big misconceptions in the AIP movement. Whether or not IP is "property" or "privelege" is irrelevant.

    Real Estate is about as tangible as you can get, but if you don't pay the tax you may have to forfeit it.

    Your car is certainly yours, but in some jurisdictions you pay a "personal property tax". Anything that is taxed is, in a sense, not fully yours.

    In the most extreme example, it is possible for your government to order you into harm's way because risking your life is deemed to be of greater benefit to society than not risking it. Your very life is not totally yours.

    Whether or not IP is formulated as a right that's taxed or a privelege that's granted is a pointless intellectual exercise.

  • by malfunct (120790) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @02:29PM (#6295592) Homepage
    Isn't GCC part of the GNU "system". I'd say that the community would be a lot further behind where they are now if they didn't have a common complier to work with.
  • by rootmon (203439) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @03:22PM (#6296351) Homepage
    You don't understand! Richard is not looking for attention for himself, to boost his ego. He raises the issue to educate people about the Free Software cause. In a time when we are facing the lobbying efforts of the media companies and proprietary vendors to control what people can load on their computers, he is fighting to raise awareness of the underlying issues of computing freedom. By calling "GNU/Linux" systems just "Linux" systems, the awareness of what makes these systems so wonderful is lost. GNU/Linux systems are great because everyone can participate in using, improving, and selling solutions on equal footing. No large corporation controls what we can do with GNU/Linux. It's all about freedom. I actually came to this understanding myself after a debate with Richard in an on-line forum- he made me understand.
    Now when you say "Nothing personal RMS, I just think Linus attitude is really more of a leader than yours." I have to reply that they are both leaders: RMS is more of a political and social activist while Linus doesn't give a damn about politics, etc, as RMS says, "Linus is an engineer", and Linus is the best leader of engineers in the Free Software/Open Source community. Remember, "GNU" is not "Richard's GNU", it's "OUR GNU", it belongs to all of us and Richard is a visionary fighting to ensure freedom for us all on the new digital frontier.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @06:03PM (#6298144)
    Why is Stallman commenting about a case in which he knows nothing about? If he had any understanding of intellectual property, he'd understand that the merits of the case lie mostly in the contracts between SCO and IBM. He's basically making the same stupid arguement every other OSS advocate has made since the beginning. SCO hasn't showed us the evidence. Therefore, they must be lying. Just because SCO doesn't tell YOU STALLMAN, what the details of the IP violations are, doesn't mean they are oversimplifying the issues. It just means it's not worth their effort or in their interest to tell you the details.
  • by 3seas (184403) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @08:26PM (#6299056) Journal
    I don't think RMS is such a hard ass a all.

    In fact his is a bit easy going.

    A real hard ass would have a class action lawsuit going on against SCO for all the dishonest and outright intentional damage SCO is causing.

    But it is so interesting how such a short and honest article can put down and bring clairity to the endless crap in and around SCO vs. IBM...

How many QA engineers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? 3: 1 to screw it in and 2 to say "I told you so" when it doesn't work.

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