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RMS Cuts Through Some SCO FUD

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the scrupulous-thinking dept.

Linux 877

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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Subjects are Fooey (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293333)

Foo and Larp

Foo fooo fooo

larp larp larp

Re:Subjects are Fooey (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293404)

That's kind of funny. I like that it is silly and whimsical. I feel like it could be even more nonsensical though.

Finally something about SCO! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293334)

It already got boring!

First Patrick Beaver Post! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293338)

Linux is a piece of shit!

RTFA (5, Funny)

Gzip Christ (683175) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293450)

Linux is a piece of shit!
Did you not even read the article? You should be saying GNU/Linux is a piece of shit.

love,
RMS

Re:First Patrick Beaver Post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293539)

No, Linux is a kernel. You are a piece of shit. Learn the difference.

Hehehe (-1, Redundant)

Delifisek (190943) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293340)

Thats better, but I wan't to see, good old RMS commets.

Hit them hard...

Heh (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293341)

He won't be cutting through this FP.

fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293348)

fp

Re:fp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293412)

YOU FAIL IT!!!

Broken Record (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293350)

RMS sounds like a broken record. How many times do we need to hear the explaination of Linux and GNU/Linux?

iNFo (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293351)

SCO's contract dispute with IBM has been accompanied by a smear campaign against the whole GNU/Linux system. But SCO made an obvious mistake when it erroneously quoted me as saying that "Linux is a copy of Unix." Many readers immediately smelled a rat--not only because I did not say that, and not only because the person who said it was talking about published ideas (which are uncopyrightable) rather than code, but because they know I would never compare Linux with Unix.

Unix is a complete operating system, but Linux is just part of one. SCO is using the popular confusion between Linux and the GNU/Linux system to magnify the fear that it can spread. GNU/Linux is the GNU operating system running with Linux as the kernel. The kernel is the part of the system that allocates the machine's resources to the other programs you run. That part is Linux.

We developed GNU starting in 1984 as a campaign for freedom, whose aim was to eliminate non-free software from our lives. GNU is free software, meaning that users are free to run it, study it and change it (or pay programmers to do this for them), redistribute it (gratis or for a fee), and publish modified versions. (See http://www.gnu.org/gnu/the-gnu-project.html.)

In 1991, GNU was mostly finished, lacking only a kernel. In 1992, Linus Torvalds made his kernel, Linux, free software. Others combined GNU and Linux to produce the first complete free operating system, GNU/Linux. (See http://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.html.) GNU/Linux is also free software, and SCO made use of this freedom by selling their version of it. 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.

Those who combined Linux with GNU didn't recognize that's what they were doing, and they spoke of the combination as "Linux." The confusion spread; many users and journalists call the whole system "Linux." Since they also properly call the kernel "Linux," the result is even more confusion: when a statement says "Linux," you can only guess what software it refers to. SCO's irresponsible statements are shot through with ambiguous references to "Linux." It is impossible to attribute any coherent meaning to them overall, but they appear to accuse the entire GNU/Linux system of being copied from Unix.

The name GNU stands for "GNU's Not Unix." The whole point of developing the GNU system is that it is not Unix. Unix is and always was non-free software, meaning that it denies its users the freedom to cooperate and to control their computers. To use computers in freedom as a community, we needed a free software operating system. We did not have the money to buy and liberate an existing system, but we did have the skill to write a new one. Writing GNU was a monumental job. We did it for our freedom, and your freedom.

To copy Unix source code would not be ethically wrong, but it is illegal; our work would fail to give users lawful freedom to cooperate if it were not done lawfully. To make sure we would not copy Unix source code or write anything similar, we told GNU contributors not even to look at Unix source code while developing code for GNU. We also suggested design approaches that differ from typical Unix design approaches, to ensure our code would not resemble Unix code. We did our best to avoid ever copying Unix code, despite our basic premise that to prohibit copying of software is morally wrong.

Another SCO tool of obfuscation is the term "intellectual property." This fashionable but foolish term carries an evident bias: that the right way to treat works, ideas, and names is as a kind of property. Less evident is the harm it does by inciting simplistic thinking: it lumps together diverse laws--copyright law, patent law, trademark law and others--which really have little in common. This leads people to suppose those laws are one single issue, the "intellectual property issue," and think about "it"--which means, to think at such a broad abstract level that the specific social issues raised by these various laws are not even visible. Any "opinion about intellectual property" is thus bound to be foolish. (See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html. )

In the hands of a propagandist for increased copyright or patent powers, the term is a way to prevent clear thinking. In the hands of someone making threats, the term is a tool for obfuscation: "We claim we can sue you over something, but we won't say what it is."

In an actual lawsuit, such ambiguity would make their case fail, or even prevent it from getting off the ground. If, however, SCO's aim is to shake the tree and see if any money falls down, or simply to spread fear, they may regard vagueness and mystery as advantageous.

I cannot prognosticate about the SCO vs IBM lawsuit itself: I don't know what was in their contract, I don't know what IBM did, and I am not a lawyer. The Free Software Foundation's lawyer, Professor Moglen, believes that SCO gave permission for the community's use of the code that they distributed under the GNU GPL and other free software licenses in their version of GNU/Linux.

However, I can address the broader issue of such situations. In a community of over half a million developers, we can hardly expect that there will never be plagiarism. But it is no disaster; we discard that material and move on. If there is material in Linux that was contributed without legal authorization, the Linux developers will learn what it is and replace it. SCO cannot use its copyrights, or its contracts with specific parties, to suppress the lawful contributions of thousands of others. 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. Our community cannot be defeated by this.

There's Cringely too. (5, Informative)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293356)

He has an new and interesting take on the SCO cr@p too. It's here [pbs.org] .

Re:There's Cringely too. (2, Interesting)

mirko (198274) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293486)

Hackles also refered to this soaft (saop+soft) opera :
it's here [hackles.org]

Please... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293362)

Is it impossible for that man to grow up or will we hear this GNU/Linux bullshit until we die?

They gave their software away, they are in no position to try to force people to put GNU in front, everyone can call it whatever they want to.

FIGHT EU Software patents (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293364)

EU software patent vote in 1 week: 2000 IT bosses ask Europarl to say NO

Brussels, Munich, Amsterdam 2003/06/22

For immediate Release

A "Petition for a Free Europe without Software Patents" has gained
more than 150000 signatures. Among the supporters are more than 2000
company owners and chief executives and 25000 developpers and
engineers from all sectors of the European information and
telecommunication industries, as well as more than 2000 scientists and
180 lawyers. Companies like Siemens, IBM, Alcatel and Nokia lead the
list of those whose researchers and developpers want to protect
programming freedom and copyright property against what they see as a
"patent landgrab". Currently the patent policy of many of these
companies is still dominated by their patent departments. These have
intensively lobbied the European Parliament to support a proposal to
allow patentability of "computer-implemented inventions" (recent
patent newspeak term which usually refers to software in the context
of patent claims, i.e. algorithms and business methods framed in terms
of generic computing equipment), which the rapporteur, UK Labour MEP
Arlene McCarthy, backed by "patent experts" from the socialist and
conservative blocks, is trying to rush through the European Parliament
on June 30, just 13 days after she had won the vote in the Legal
Affairs Committe (JURI).

Introduction

-> [12]Eurolinux Petition for a Software Patent Free Europe
-> [13]FFII: Software Patents in Europe
For the last few years the European Patent Office (EPO) has,
contrary to the letter and spirit of the existing law, granted
more than 20000 patents on what the law calls "programs for
computers" and what the European Patent Office (EPO) started to
call "computer-implemented inventions" in 2000: software in a
context of patent claims, i.e. rules of organisation and
calculation framed in terms of generic computing equipment. Now
Europe's patent community is pressing to codify this practise
into a new law. Europe's programmers and citizens are facing
considerable risks. Here you find the basic documentation,
starting from a short overview and the latest news.

The European Parliament parliament's plenary will decide on a draft
report on the European Commission's software patentability directive
proposal COM(2002)92. Hartmut Pilch explains on behalf of Eurolinux,
an alliance of associations and companies from all European countries
and all sectors of the European software industry:

If the European Parliament accepts this report, even with
amendments, it will not only find itself in complete contradiction
with public opinion, as expressed in the largest online petition on
IT matters which the world has seen so far. It would also be in
contradiction with its own proclaimed aims. The result of passing
the McCarthy Directive Proposal would be that "Amazon One Click
Shopping" indisputably becomes a patentable invention, and that
more than 20000 broad and trivial software and business method
patents, which have been granted by the European Patent Office
(EPO) against the letter and spirit of the written law, will no
longer be contestable in court, except with rock-solid evidence of
prior art.

"Now it is up to the European Parliament to decide on a highly
controversial proposal for a directive for software patents. The JURI
proposal aims at improving clarity. It should have at last defined
clearly what is patentable and what not. But in reality it is a bunch
of magic formulas that even legal experts do not understand. In
particular for small and medium sized software developers it is a
disaster. A patent infringement claim can ruin such a company. It is
to be hoped that the European Parliament understands this if they vote
about the proposed directive in a few days." says Reinier Bakels from
the Insitute for Information Law of Amsterdam University, author of a
parliament-ordered study, which JURI chose to ignore completely. Dr.
Karl Friedrich Lenz, professor of European Law in Tokyo, comments:

If the European Parliament follows JURI in ignoring public opinion
and all scientific studies, we will see large license payments from
the European to the American software industry, lots of litigation
based on software patents, Internet patents and business method
patents, and some very unfavorable effects for open source
software. And introducing a large number of new monopoly rights in
the information society sector certainly won't help with the EU
strategic goal "to become the most competitive and knowledge-based
economy in the world."

Please find more statements in [14]JURI votes for Fake Limits on Patentability

Statistics of signatories

* [15]By profession / position in company
* [16]By country
* [17]By company

By profession / position in company

Since the wording in the entry "profession" is free for everyone to
chose, aggregation was difficult. We can only state minimal numbers
here.

position number (minimum)
company owner, chief executive (CEO), managing director 2000
CTO, head of IT, head of R&D 2100
programmer, software/system architect/engineer/designer/analyst 23000
scientist, researcher etc 2600
professor (mainly computer science, mathematics, physics) 400
lawyer 180

By country

Germany 29773
France 27047
Spain 13120
Italy 9673
United Kingdom 9385
Denmark 5141
Netherlands 5041
Belgium 4587
Sweden 4355
Poland 3195
Austria 3262
Switzerland 3090
Finnland 2732
Czechia 1503
Norway 1497
Hungary 1386
Portugal 1128
Ireland 911
Greece 563
Luxemburg 287

By company

Below you find the number of employees of some major companies and
institutions who signed the petition. Note that 2/3 of the signatories
did not specify their employer.

comany
[18]Siemens 231
[19]CNRS 220
[20]IBM 156
[21]INRIA 114
Cap Gemini Ernst & Young 108
[22]Alcatel 99
France Telecom 97
[23]Ericsson 94
Epita 92
Hewlett Packard (HP) 85
Helsinki University of Technology 78
[24]Nokia 74
RWTH Aachen (Aachen Technical University) 78
SuSE 67
ETH Zurich (Zurich Technical University) 61
Deutsche Telekom AG 59
[25]Sun Microsystems 58
University of Cambridge 56
[26]Philips 54
University of Helsinki 53
EDS 50
Compaq 42
[27]SAP 44
ST Microelectronics 42
Telefonica 31
Steria 30
Politecnico di Milano 29
CERN 29
Oxford University 29
Motorola 29
ABB 28
Renault 28
Lucent 27
Nortel 37
AlcÃve 26
ATOS Origin 59
Belgacom 25
Getronics 25
Transiciel 23
Nevrax 23
Red Hat 32
Cisco Systems 21
innominate 21
[28]Thales 21
DaimlerChrysler 20
altran 20
T-Systems 20
EADS 19
BMW 19
BULL 19
mobile.de 18
Accenture 18
Sema Group 17
Air France 16
Alplog 15
Sony 15
Telecom 15
Lufthansa 15
Schlumberger 14
[29]Microsoft 14
Andersen Consulting 13
Oracle 13
Intel 13
Amadeus 13
Epitech 13
Vodafone 13
AT&T 12
British Telecom 12
Unisys 12
NCC 11
debis Systemhaus 21
Infineon 11
Mobilix 11
Fujitsu Siemens Computers 11
KPNQwest 10
Atrid 10
Easter-eggs 10
Bosch 10
SOT Finnish Software Engineering Ltd. 10

Media Contacts

mail:
media at ffii org

phone:
Hartmut Pilch +49-89-18979927

More Contacts to be supplied upon request

About the Eurolinux Alliance -- www.eurolinux.org

The EuroLinux Alliance for a Free Information Infrastructure is an
open coalition of commercial companies and non-profit associations
united to promote and protect a vigourous European Software Culture
based on copyright, open standards, open competition and open source
software such as Linux. Corporate members or sponsors of EuroLinux
develop or sell software under free, semi-free and non-free licenses
for operating systems such as GNU/Linux, MacOS or MS Windows.

About the FFII -- www.ffii.org

The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) is a
non-profit association registered in Munich, which is dedicated to the
spread of data processing literacy. FFII supports the development of
public information goods based on copyright, free competition, open
standards. More than 200 members, 180 companies and 12000 individual
supporters have entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in public
policy questions in the area of software property law.

Permanent URL of this Press Release

http://swpat.ffii.org/news/03/epet0622/index.en. ht ml

Annotated Links

->
contains new statements from supporters of the petition

-> [30]Quotations on the question of the patentability of rules of
organisation and calculation
classified statements from software professionals, business
people, scientists, politicians etc

-> [31]CEC/ETLA 2002: Technology policy in the telecommunication
sector -- Market responses and economic impacts
This study may explain while so many employees of telecom
giants and related companies support the Petition for a Free
Europe without Software Patents.
________________________________________ __________ _______________

http://swpat.ffii.org/news/03/epet0622/index.en. ht ml

References

12. http://petition.eurolinux.org/
13. http://swpat.ffii.org/index.en.html
18. http://swpat.ffii.org/players/siemens/index.en.htm l
19. http://www.cnrs/
20. http://swpat.ffii.org/players/ibm/index.en.html
2 1. http://www.inria.fr/
22. http://swpat.ffii.org/players/alcatel/index.en.htm l
23. http://swpat.ffii.org/players/ericsson/index.en.ht ml
24. http://swpat.ffii.org/players/nokia/index.en.html
25. http://swpat.ffii.org/players/sun/index.en.html
2 6. http://swpat.ffii.org/players/philips/index.en.htm l
27. http://swpat.ffii.org/players/sap/index.de.html
2 8. http://swpat.ffii.org/players/thales/index.en.html
29. http://swpat.ffii.org/players/microsoft/index.en.h tml
30. http://swpat.ffii.org/archive/quotes/index.en.html
31. http://swpat.ffii.org/papers/cec-telecom02/index.e n.html

Pissed off RMS (-1, Offtopic)

NoSuchGuy (308510) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293368)

He sounds really pissed off because everyone calls it only "Linux" and not "GNU/Linux" like he want's it to be known.

NoSuchGuy

Re:Pissed off RMS (1)

gspr (602968) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293408)

This obsession with the naming of the OS can seem a bit weird, I agree. But reading things like what you just wrote, "like he want's it to be known", really makes me understand how incorrect spelling/naming can annoy people!

RMS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293377)

To sum up this artice: Blah blah blah, software should be free, blah blah blah, SCO is evil and wrong for what they're doing, blah blah blah, GNU is good, blah blah blah, the GPL should be the only license EVER.

not quite (1)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293434)

the GPL should be the only license EVER

he actually mentions that the GNU system runs on a couple of BSD kernels as a point of pride.

Well that was pretty worthless (0, Flamebait)

putaro (235078) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293391)

I don't think there was much in that commentary that was actually relevant. Horn blowing about GNU/Linux - you know, RICHARD, most people building an OS START with the kernel, not the other way around. If Linus hadn't gotten something pulled together the FSF would still be wandering in the wilderness.



One good point



The Free Software Foundation's lawyer, Professor Moglen, believes that SCO gave permission for the community's use of the code that they distributed under the GNU GPL and other free software licenses in their version of GNU/Linux.

Re:Well that was pretty worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293451)

You must really hate RMS

Re:Well that was pretty worthless (-1, Troll)

levik (52444) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293458)

RMS also for the first time publically claimed, that SCO's actual name should be GNU/SCO - gnusco for short.

Re:Well that was pretty worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293467)

You obviously know nothing about OS development.

Re:Well that was pretty worthless (5, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293502)

I wish folks would just stop with the GNU/Linux junk.

In this specific dispute with SCO, we're not talking about the userland tools but about the kernel itself. I seem to remember someone named Linus calling the kernel just plain "Linux" and trademarking it to that effect.

As for distributions, they can call their product whatever they want. If they include self-licensed elements, I can see why they wouldn't want to name it "X/Perl/Apache/BSD/Mozilla/GNU/Linux". I'm personally glad that Red Hat hasn't succumbed to the annoying GNU/affectation. "Red Hat Linux" says what customers need to hear, and no more.

Re:Well that was pretty worthless (5, Informative)

gandy909 (222251) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293528)

...but without all of the GNU software, the Linux kernel would be nothing...

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., instead of having a full-fledged unix-like OS ready to go with the Linux kernel when it came into being.

Sure, RMS may be somewhat of a wack-job at times, and I don't agree with him all the time either, but lets give credit where it's due. It was due to his vision and hard work that Linux was ABLE to take off and start flying high right away instead of floundering around in the muck for a long time.

Linux no longer essential (5, Insightful)

tommten (212387) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293392)

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. Our community cannot be defeated by this.


the kernel is still essential due to the high level of hardware support.. but hopefully if something would happen, the drivers get ported to other kernels..

For great justice, the GNU must survive!

the Linux kernel is no longer essential (5, Insightful)

solidhen (642119) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293494)

If for some reason all copies of the Linux kernel source code was wiped of the face of the earth tomorrow people would still be able to run a Free/Open operating system.

Sure there would probably be major setbacks. It might take another five years to get to the point were we are now but things would eventually get back to normal.

So RMS's statement that the Linux kernel is no longer essential is true.

I use Gentoo Linux and I love it. But if I _had_ to I could learn to live with a FreeBSD kernel. I know both Debian and Gentoo are working on getting there userland stuff working under a BSD kernel.

If the Linux kernel went away tomorrow it would be a real shame (understatement of the year) but it would not be the end of the world.

Re:the Linux kernel is no longer essential (1, Funny)

Dynastar454 (174232) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293548)

If for some reason North America was wiped of the face of the earth tomorrow people would still be able live elsewhere.

Sure there would probably be major setbacks. It might take another five years to get to the point were we are now but things would eventually get back to normal.

So RMS's statement that North America is no longer essential is true.

I live in North America and I love it. But if I _had_ to I could learn to live in Europe, or Asia even. I know both Europe and Asia are working on getting there[sic] economy up to snuff.

If North America went away tomorrow it would be a real shame (understatement of the year) but it would not be the end of the world.

Re:the Linux kernel is no longer essential (1)

solidhen (642119) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293575)

Are you seriously comparing the importance of North America to the Linux kernel?

Re:Linux no longer essential (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293495)

Ok, no doubt this will be modded down instantly, but I have to ask this question:

Would RMS mind so much if Linux kernel fell down because of this controversy as long as GNU carried on with a different kernel?

I mean, reading his comments it seems clear that his purpose was not to defend Linux, but to try to draw a distinction (surprise) between the Linux kernel, the GNU system and the OS that is GNU/Linux.

Re:Linux no longer essential (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293578)

That depends on whether or not the new kernel would be willing to have GNU tacked on to its name.

Re:Linux no longer essential (3, Informative)

Chris_Jefferson (581445) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293510)

Who's community is he talking about? "my" community is linux. I don't want to move to the *BSDs, or GNU/hurd. In fact nowadays I do almost all of my compiling on icc (intel's compiler).. hmm.. I wonder how close you could get to a working linux machine with nothing offically from GNU? Chris

Re:Linux no longer essential (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293544)

It's kind of 'simple'... port *BSD libc to linux, set up a chroot, make world, and voila ;-) that's the reverse of what Debian-(Net|Free)BSD folks did...

Seriously, I'll stick with GNU, thanks.

Re:Linux no longer essential (4, Funny)

bytes256 (519140) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293513)

I don't know about the rest of you guys...but I'm downloading the HURD right now just to be safe!

Re:Linux no longer essential (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293526)

But according to SCO, they own everything... IBM devoped JFS on top of AIX which is based on Unix, so now JFS belongs to SCO. I wouldn't doubt they would say that they own the drivers on Linux too since it was developed on a system that "had some of their IP in it".

SCO is acting like a crazed dog... crazed dogs need to be put to sleep...

Holy 3-letter acronyms batman!!! (5, Funny)

bytes256 (519140) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293396)

RMS SCO FUD!!! Meltdown meltdown!!!

That's "TLA" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293448)

TLA = Three Letter Acronym.

You should know better than to have forgotten about that.

Re:Holy 3-letter acronyms batman!!! (5, Funny)

killmenow (184444) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293461)

Now, if only the subject of your message had been: "Holy TLA Batman!" and the body been simply: RMS SCO FUD!!! WTF?!

Re:Holy 3-letter acronyms batman!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293471)

Gun Control Works!!! Just ask the experts...Hitler, Stalin, Castro,...
GNU Control Works!!! Just ask the experts... Microsoft, SCO, RedHat!

Re:Holy 3-letter acronyms batman!!! (4, Funny)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293527)

Rearrange the letters of RMS SCO FUD to get:

FORM SCUDS

It's an Al-Qaeda hidden message!!!

Article summary (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293398)

I can sum up the article in a few lines.

"We developed the whole GNU dealy so we wouldn't have to pay for software or go to jail for pirating it. I don't know what the dealy is with this SCO/IBM jazz, but we aren't responsible. Sic your ravenous dogs on somebody else. Oh, and I didn't say Linux is a copy of Unix."

A Better summary (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293584)

RMS:

"Hey guys. look at me! I'm over here! Come pester me, not that stupid old Linus guy. Forget IBM, it's all about me."

"I'll knock you down a peg if you would just PLEASE-OH-PLEASE-OH-PLEASE validate my existence by attacking me. It is GNU not Linix!"

"Won't anyone listen to me? ... shit."

Mod RMS: -1 Troll

Okay, mod me down (-1, Troll)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293401)

I can't help it... Does he TRY to look like Jesus!? Sheesh!

Honestly though, I half expected him not to revisit the GNU/Linux issue... But deep down inside I knew he would. You could eliminate the entire article outside of the comment that the FSF's legal counsel believes SCO gave permission to use the code when it distributed it's own version of Linux and gotten the same good information from it. And even that isn't really new information, it's just backing up what other GPL experts have suspected by a word from someone with authority. I hope the FSF has already filed such a claim with the court...

The GNU/Linux thing is way past old... (I note he didn't use GNU/NetBSD?) Narf...

Re:Okay, mod me down (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293501)

I agree. While I'll admit that the GNU/Tools are an integral part, if not most, of Linux as a whole, RMS must realize that Linux (both kernel and name) brought a huge boost to GNU in general. The name is now ubiquitous. Furthermore, if Linux (the kernel) were to be removed, then GNU would be pushed back out of the mainstream. At least now it has a foothold. It would lose that without Linux. It would still exist, but to what end? It would be just another collection of utilities (BSD notwhithstanding). >

Re:Okay, mod me down (4, Interesting)

ajm (9538) | more than 11 years ago | (#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.

Re:Okay, mod me down (1)

Chris_Jefferson (581445) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293541)

You, know I reallly wish there was a:

-5 : They asked me to

Moderation option...

Re:Okay, mod me down (5, Insightful)

4im (181450) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293542)

I note he didn't use GNU/NetBSD?

Had you actually tried to understand RMS's message, you'd have noticed that in the two instances he mentioned *BSD in this article, he was talking about the Kernel only - had he talked about the whole system, I'm quite sure he'd have used GNU/*BSD.

I really don't understand people here raving about RMS, he does have a clear position and is consistent with his beliefs - much more than can be said about most other people. I've seen him at FOSDEM in Brussels, where he made an excellent impression IMHO.

Copyleft? (5, Funny)

CaptainBaz (621098) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293403)

Copyright 2003 Richard Stallman. Verbatim copying and redistribution of this entire article are permitted without royalty in any medium provided this notice is preserved.

Am I the only one who sniggered?

Re:Copyleft? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293446)

There is a big difference from computer code which a *computer* interprets and an opinion targeted at humans. The reason for the Verbatim copying requirement is so that he is not mis-quoted.

Nothing to snicker about here.

Re:Copyleft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293472)

But if it was a misquote, it wouldn't be copying...

Re:Copyleft? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293484)

Yes. You are a twit.

Re:Copyleft? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293515)

If you thought about it for half a second, you wouldn't have sniggered. He's saying it's OK to copy his works, as long as you let people know who wrote.

Re:Copyleft? (4, Interesting)

Suppafly (179830) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293517)

why would you have snickered at that?

Who cares if Linux has SCO owned code? (2, Redundant)

mofochickamo (658514) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293414)

However, I can address the broader issue of such situations. In a community of over half a million developers, we can hardly expect that there will never be plagiarism. But it is no disaster; we discard that material and move on. If there is material in Linux that was contributed without legal authorization, the Linux developers will learn what it is and replace it.

While SCO's claims are certainly annoying, they don't pose much of a threat to the open source community since the code in question (if it exists and is ever revealed) can be removed.

http://public.planetmirror.com/pub/ancient-unix/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293417)

I thought SCO's ancient unix sources [planetmirror.com] where free to download?

Re:http://public.planetmirror.com/pub/ancient-unix (2, Insightful)

A Commentor (459578) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293569)

Don't agree to the license... It's a trap. You'll have to agree to their license, and you'll then have a contract with SCO. SCO has already stated that breach-of-contract was stronger than general copyright infringement... They just want more people to sue...

Didn't get it.. (1, Funny)

andy1307 (656570) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293418)

I didnt really get what RMS said...but if RMS said it, it must mean something profound.

that's not an analysis (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293425)

that's just crazy RMS regurgitating more of that "it's not Linux, it's GNU/Linux" crap

Shaking the tree/Spreading the FUD? (5, Insightful)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293430)

I originally considered SCO's efforts to be, as Stallman suggests, an attempt to shake the IBM money tree and see what would fall out.

When Microsoft made it's licensing agreement with SCO, I then began to consider that the whole tone and nature of the SCO lawsuit was a FUD campaign to hurt OSS, subsidized but not directly linked to Microsoft.

I keep switching back and forth as to which I think it is. Of course, it might be both.

Download free SCO Sourcecode (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293431)

Download the SCO Sources for free! Incorporate them into your GPLed software!

http://public.planetmirror.com/pub/ancient-unix/ an cient/?submit=ACCEPT

Calm down everyone, it's just RMS as usual (-1, Flamebait)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293438)

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. The usual exhortations to adopt his version of newspeak are in there, as is the ritual flogging of poor dead GNU Hurd, and the reliable old prediction that GNU will shed Linux Real Soon Now anyway.

Notable exceptions are a lack of a lecture about the difference between Free and Open, and there are only five mentions (including the title) of GNU being a "community". C'mon Richard, get with the five year program.

Jesting aside, it does show some restraint on his part to just use the standard press release, rather than writing a piece along the lines of "I warned you! But did you listen to me? Oh, no, you knew it all, didn't you? Oh, it's just a harmless little bunny, isn't it? Well, it's always the same, I always--" [20m.com] . Fair props to RMS, he's been warning about this for years. Who'd have thought that the filthy socialist hippy would be right?

Re:Calm down everyone, it's just RMS as usual (0, Flamebait)

Surak (18578) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293511)

Who'd have thought that the filthy socialist hippy would be right?

Um, that would a "filthy socialist GNU/hippy" to you, pal! :)

Re:Calm down everyone, it's just RMS as usual (4, Insightful)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293552)

I know you received the rating of flamebait. But somehow I have to agree with you. From the various commentaries that he has made I get the REAL feeling that he is actually enjoying this.

HE REALLY goes out of his way to point out that GNU does not have the problems that the LINUX kernel does. Well he is going to be REALLY surprised because SCO has made comments that they might go after the BSD's as well.

Is RMS right? I think not. If it was not LINUX, then it would have been FreeBSD, and if not that then [Fill in OS here]. Why? Because Linux has the momentum and it pisses SCO off. Essentially this is what it is about. SCO thinks they own UNIX and they are pissed that they are going to go bankrupt!

He in a way is as dangerous as SCO because he is not exactly proping up Linux or IBM! And that makes me more nervous that anything else. Because at this point in time we need to come together and focus and eradicate this problem. Not talk about how GNU will never die, BLAH, BLAH... But at least we have ESR!

Aaaaargh!!! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293440)

Well, the shouting filter tends to agree with me here: RMS... SCO... FUD... IBM... GNU... WTF?

TLA overload or what!?

This is very interesting, (5, Interesting)

T40 Dude (668317) | more than 11 years ago | (#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 !

Re:This is very interesting, (3, Interesting)

jobsagoodun (669748) | more than 11 years ago | (#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.

Aha (5, Funny)

spakka (606417) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293444)

From the article:

We also suggested design approaches that differ from typical Unix design approaches, to ensure our code would not resemble Unix code.

Hence, the infamous GNU indentation style.

Wow... (1, Insightful)

Asprin (545477) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293447)


Wow....

who-da ever thought that RMS's paranoid-bordering-on-schitzophrenic obsessive ranting about words, language and semantics would have actually come in handy?

Just once... (3, Insightful)

Emmettfish (573105) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293457)

I would like to see Richard Stallman write a piece that's relevant and express a thought without four paragraphs of text explaining why he is a very important person, and his organization is very important.

If you keep having to explain to people what the FSF and GNU are on about, then there might be something wrong with the message, not necessarily the messenger.

the short version (5, Funny)

r0b0t b0y (565885) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293460)

the condensed version of the article:
  • SCO is putting out FUD
  • it's GNU/Linux not just Linux, dammit!
  • why doesn't anyone use Hurd?
  • i am the man

Re:the short version (1)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293587)

  • i am the man

I'm the man
I'm the man
I'm so bad I should be in detention!

time to change GNU... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293466)

to GNUBICFS (Gnu's not unix but it's coming from SCO)

(sorry)

RMS Goes to the Zoo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293469)

With a twinkle in his eye and a skip in his step, RMS slammed his sky-blue Chevette's rusted-out car door and turned on heel toward the MIT Zoo entrance. Today was a Sunday, and RMS had decided the daily stresses of Free Software, the GPL, and his "crazy" drug habits could go away for just one afternoon while he enjoyed the zoo.

"That'll be twenty-five dollars, sir," the lady at the admission booth said glumly. She looked at RMS expectantly.

"I was expecting this zoo to be Free," RMS stated loudly, eyes darting around to gauge onlookers' reactions. There were none: RMS's capital F had went unnoticed. "Can you ensure me that this money will not help fund--"

The admissions lady cut him off. "Twenty-five dollars, or twenty bucks with a Mr. Pibb can," the lady cut in.

With a grumble and shake of his beard, RMS handed over twenty five of his hard-earned dollars. Considering that the GPL works to unemploy programmers, one must wonder where this money came from...

By evening, RMS found himself in front of the penguin exhibit. He felt himself start to sweat, which would have been no surprise-- his thick, full, grizzly beard must be worth a thousand down comforters-- except that he was wearing only a pair of nylon biking shorts and a travel pack around his waist. He stared at his hands. What was wrong?

"AWWWK!" a nearby bird offered. RMS wheeled in the direction the screech had come from. He was met with the steely, unfeeling stares of a penguin. "AWK! Ooooh God, the penguin said AWK... lord, lord lord, it's LINUX. THE PENGUIN IS TUX!" RMS blurted out. He felt dizzy, and cold sweat now washed over his brittle, hairy chest. He looked this way and that. From nearby a bird again squawked.

"AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWK"

RMS ran as fast as his atrophied hippy-programmer legs could carry him, right thru a gate and into an exhibit. He realized what he had done, and before he could turn around, he heard a low, ominous sound. Like the Devil's riding mower. "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" RMS gasped.

MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

He was standing in the Gnu section, and it seemed these bull yaks were in rut and ready to mate with the first hairy thing with a hole in its center they found. Bad luck for RMS and his beard. Just then he felt cloven hooves push him down...

Wrong fight RMS (5, Insightful)

geoff lane (93738) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293473)

SCOs intent appears to be to widen the concept of a "derived work" to encompass eveything that behaves, looks or even smells like Unix.

If sucessful GNU software would not be immune. SCO actually claim that code written by 3rd parties is theirs if it's written to a Unix API...

They are a bunch of landgrabbing carpet-baggers.

Re:Wrong fight RMS (1)

hobsonchoice (680456) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293568)

I personally would not be surprised to see them make a grab at some UNIX/Linux applications. It'd seem like the next logical step.

They've announced a new SCO web platform product. Maybe it will be Apache :-)

At last ! (2, Interesting)

HawkingMattress (588824) | more than 11 years ago | (#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 ;)

Re:At last ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293530)

He may be the "you shall not pass" man, but I doubt he could defeat a balrog.

off topic (1, Insightful)

DarkSkiesAhead (562955) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293476)


too bad we can't moderate RMS as off topic. most of this is just his petty little gnu/linux crusade. he doesn't even bring up SCO's code copying accuation until the 7th paragraph. he needs to get over it.

sure, GNU code is an important part of what we call linux. so is xfree86, but i don't here them whining about the xfree86/gnu/linux operating system. or what about gnome/kde/xfree86/gnu/linux. the most basic definition of "operating system" is "software that controls the execution of computer programs and may provide other services". the kernel qualifies. everything else is an add-on for usability.

anyway, it's pretty pathetic of RMS to use every single issue or topic to push his name agenda.

Re:off topic (4, Insightful)

weave (48069) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293532)

Maybe, but he has some good points too. If, worse case scenario, the linux kernel is considered tainted, then one solution would be to use another non-tainted kernel and port drivers and such to it.

Surely all of us can see that there is a big difference between the kernel and everything else that sits on top of it. Is SCO's lawsuit relevant to Gimp, for example? Or /bin/ls?

The real world considers "linux" as an entire package. SCO, even in their wildest dreams, won't be able to force me to move from Apache to IIS.

But SCO has stated that they think Linux will still exist, but not be free (cost) anymore. Now if they did in some twisted universe win, do you really think everyone won't just flee to BSD (which just happens to have a heck of a lot of GNU stuff on top of it as well).

He's persistent (5, Insightful)

HoloBear (677797) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293519)

You have to admire his persistence with the GNU/label, but I would have to disagree with one of the statements:

"Linux itself is no longer essential"

Which is just egotistical masturbation, the very nature of OSS/FS at this moment in time is focused around Linux almost exclusively in terms of press and business marketing, GNU/hurd or anything else right now could in no way compete with anything Linux has achieved, in terms of market share, popularity and rate of growth.

Not that I don't appreciate what GNU has done, and will continue to-do, it's just that Linux is essential to the community, and OSS in general, hence the amount of heated debate.

a theory? (4, Insightful)

smd4985 (203677) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293522)

ok, lets try to make sense of a few interesting facts and see if we can find an explanation:

1) MS hates Linux (it is a 'cancer')
2) MS licensed some code from SCO, granting some force to SCO's claims and giving them more money to pursue their lawsuit against IBM
3) SCO will not produce the evidence prior to the case - the offensive Linux code will be kept under wraps until trial time

I think that MS and SCO want to spread FUD for as long as possible, knowing full well that this case won't get anywhere. Even if they do win in court, they are withholding the offensive code because they know once they present it, the Linux community will up and change it. If they were to present it now, Linux can move merrily along (though IBM may still be liable to damages). They want to hurt the GNU/Linux movement for as long as possible though.

No not again. (3, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293524)

Please RMS get off the GNU/Linux soapbox. Yes GNU tools are in Linux. But then I use GNU tools on my XP box so should I call it GNU/Windows.

RMS did not invent open source or free software. The first programer that offered to give his code to a friend did and it has been going on ever since.

So I guess I should call the OS on my Linux box. GNU/XWindows/Apache/KDE/OpenOffice/Mozilla/LINUX?

What RMS has fame envy. He feels that poor GNU has been forgoten. We like our GNU tools but this whole stamping of feet and chanting "GNU/LINUX" makes RMS look silly. His chance to do something positive was wasted by his little lecture on GNU/LINUX. Most non technical people will say, "Wow Linux must really have IP problems they stole GNUs code as well".

How it will be settled with IBM and SCO (5, Funny)

Xpilot (117961) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293529)

This is how it's going to be settled : IBM sends grim looking men in black suits to SCO, and a representative named "Smith" (who looks oddly familiar) confronts Darl Mcbride.

Smith: As you can see, we've had our eye on you for some time now, Mr. Mcbride. It seems that you've been living...two lives. In one life, you're Darl McBride, CEO of what used to be a respectable software company, you have a social security number, you pay your taxes, and you help your landlady carry out her garbage. The other life is lived in lawsuits, where you go around accusing everyone that they are guilty of virtually every computer crime we have a law for. One of these lives has a future, and one of them does not. I'm going to be as forthcoming as I can be, Mr. McBride. You're here because we need you to cut it out. We know that you think you can get your ailing company to be bought out. Now whatever you think you know about intelluctual property laws is irrelevant. You actions are considered by the open source community to be the annoying and disruptive. My colleagues believe that I am wasting my time with you but I believe that you wish to do the right thing. We're willing to wipe the slate clean, give you a fresh start and all that we're asking in return is your cooperation in dropping your stupid lawsuits against IBM.

Darl: Yeah. Wow, that sound like a really good deal. But I think I got a better one. How about I give you the finger... and we see you in court.

Smith: Um, Mr. Mcbride. You disappoint me.

Darl: You can't scare me with this Gestapo crap. We own UNIX IP rights. I want my lawyer.

Smith: And tell me, Mr. Anderson, what good is your IP rights... if your company has violated so many of our patents.

(Smith drops a huge pile of legal papers on the desk with a thud)

Smith: You're going to help us, Mr. McBride whether you want to or not.

(Darl screams hysterically)

Re:How it will be settled with IBM and SCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293577)

s/Anderson/McBride/g

don't you feel stupid now?

Linux is Not GNU (0, Troll)

Maclir (33773) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293536)

F*&^*. Someone take Stallman into a corner and beat him about the head with the clue stick. His zealous campaign to have his pet project - GNU - put over anything that even smells of free software was tired long ago.

Who gives a sh!t about what the name is? We are getting to the point where key IT decision makers know of and want Linux. Don't confuse the issue with a bunch of idealogs ranting about the computing equivalent of how many angels can stand on the head of a pin.

To RMS - get a life, and do something useful again.

SCO is stock fraud. COMPLAIN TO THE SEC (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293537)

http://www.sec.gov/complaint.shtml

SCO's Stock Plot
http://www.computerworld.com/softwaretopics/ os/lin ux/story/0,10801,81495,00.html

What SCO Wants, SCO Gets
http://www.forbes.com/2003/06/18/cz_dl_0618l inux.h tml

SCO wants to come visit (4, Informative)

hobsonchoice (680456) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293540)

I actually thought the other SCO news today was more interesting: SCO may audit IBM AIX customers [vnunet.com] .

How do SCO want to use the discovery process> Darl said: "We get to really shake things up". I don't know what was in Darl's mind when he said that, but I assumed (I'm not a lawyer though!) that discovery was supposed to be about collecting evidence not shaking up IBM's customers. I'm also unclear (the sentence doesn't parse) what Darl means by using discovery as a "vehicle" - again I thought discovery was supposed to be about collecting evidence prior to the case, not used for some other purpose. Anybody care to comment??

There are also some more Darl (longer quotes in more context) on the same subject here [computing.co.uk] .

How much do you wanna bet? (2, Interesting)

Vaulter (15500) | more than 11 years ago | (#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.

Somebody save me from this guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293549)

Who gives a rat's ass about the proper usage of GNU/Linux? This guy deserves a beating. Reminds me of the one nerd in every BBS that corrected every post with a standard refrain "It's not 2400 baud, it's 600 baud. You guys who confuse baud with bits/second amuse me." - then jerked off to ASCII art.

Intellectual Peoperty (2, Interesting)

argoff (142580) | more than 11 years ago | (#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.

GNU/Linux rant to the rescue? (5, Insightful)

ajs (35943) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293555)

I love the way everyone who gets into this fiasco brings their own agendas to it! For RMS this is just another chance to explain why "Linux" isn't an operating system, only "GNU/Linux" is an operating system... The difference between SCO and Stallman is essentially the audience that they are bringing their agendas to, not the opportunistic way that they force their agendas into any situation that might benefit them.

Stallman the coder is a man to be respected. Stallman the politician really needs to go away and stop hurting the cause he claims to care so much about.

Until then, I insist everyone refer to him as "MIT/Stallman" and his project as "MIT/GNU" since he wouldn't be where he is now without the space, time, and other resources that MIT has given him over the years.

For short, just call the OS "MIT/Linux", since "MIT/GNU/Linux" to too long. After all, that's why he says that we shouldn't bother calling it "GNU/X/BSD/Apache/MIT/CMU/DEC/HP/Sun/IBM/Red Hat/SuSE/Slackware/Debian Linux". Of course, that's just an abbreviation. The correct name lists all of the contributors and their curren email addresses as well. Credit where credit is due, after all!

I'm going back to my MIT/Linux system now to get some work done!

RMS Cuts Through Some SCO FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293556)

...but who will cut through RMS's GNU FUD?

Outmanoeuvering Stallman (2, Interesting)

notfancy (113542) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293559)

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".

WTF-OIC (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6293561)

GNURMSSCOOSSFSFMSIBMBSDFUD

Sweet - more acronyms. I didn't add spaces because the PHB won't use them right either. Now back to my XMLEJBFOOAPP.

If only I had learned to write BAR instead of just FOO I would be a real programmer. sigh

Trying to clear a few things up ... (1)

SuperDuG (134989) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293571)

What the hell does RMS have to do with the LINUX KERNEL? It's released under the GPL, and that's about the only connection I can make here.

For some reason I see Stallman wanting to get in on this because he's Stallman and that's what he does. No one really cares, henec why ZDNet is the only one carrying his rant.

RMS in mainstream media? (1)

Drakonian (518722) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293579)

Wow, I didn't know something fairly mainstream like ZDNet would publish an article by RMS. That's interesting because I find his stuff to be usually unreasonable. e.g Calling it Linux instead of GNU/Linux is confusing. Riiighhhttt.

Also, the ethics thing. Who is he to tell me what is morally/ethically right or wrong?

which really have little in common? (1)

spikenerd (642677) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293580)

copyright law, patent law, trademark law and others--which really have little in common.

They have lots in common. All three were designed to force the properties of materials on information so it could be owned and exchanged in a capitalistic society just like other goods. All three attempt to drive a square peg through a round hole, and all three are ultimately impossible to enforce because information just won't accept the awkward attributes that governments attempt to assign to them.

It's not about the kernel anymore (5, Interesting)

ProteusQ (665382) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293582)

[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. ;)

Who wrote this article? (1)

gosand (234100) | more than 11 years ago | (#6293590)

Copyright 2003 Richard Stallman. Verbatim copying and redistribution of this entire article are permitted without royalty in any medium provided this notice is preserved.

Heh. You could show me this article without the copyright notice, and I'd tell you immediately who wrote it. :-)

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