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Stallman Feeds Gates His Own Words

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the open-up-for-the-airplane-zooooooom dept.

Patents 647

soloport writes "C|Net has published an article, written by RMS, in which Stallman points out that Gates is merely calling the kettle communist. Toward the end of the article, Stallman strengthens his point by feeding Bill his own words. Back in 1991, Bill said, in an internal memo: 'If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today...A future start-up with no patents of its own will be forced to pay whatever price the giants choose to impose.' Now, if only Bill were as clear-minded on the subjects of Innovation and Interoperability."

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FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684074)

FP

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684078)

fp

'stallman' and 'feeds' in the same sentence (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684082)

that creeped me out.

Or it could be said... (5, Interesting)

iota (527) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684086)

Or it could be said that Bill just took his own advice. Depends on what he was looking to accomplish.

Re:Or it could be said... (0)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684100)

Touche!

In fairness to M$FT... (3, Insightful)

mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684185)


Can you site an instance where M$FT ever sued someone on patent grounds? Remember, we're talking patents, not copyrights or software piracy.

As far as I know, companies like M$FT take out patents to defend themselves [google.com] , not to launch offensives against their competition.

Re:In fairness to M$FT... (4, Insightful)

cduffy (652) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684242)

Can you site an instance where M$FT ever sued someone on patent grounds?

I can't cite a case where Microsoft sued on grounds of patent infringement -- but I can remember cases where they've threatened to, overtly or otherwise, without about as much effect. See their enforcement of vfat-related patents for an example.

Re:In fairness to M$FT... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684294)

I'm posting AC for obvious reasons, but when I worked at MSFT (for a little over a year, I quit voluntarily), I was given a presentation on software patents by the legal department.

They were clear in saying we/they were making a push to patent more, and that the patents are intended entirely to defend against litigation, as against "submarine" patents like those used in Eolas v. Microsoft.

Take it for what it's worth...who knows if that's just the official line and the higher-ups have a different plan.

CIFS patents used in attack (5, Informative)

dunng808 (448849) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684385)

History does not agree. Consider Microsoft's patents on CIFS, which they used to attack Samba and the GPL. Below is taken from this 2002 CNET news article. [com.com]

Early history of CIFS

The relationship between Samba and Microsoft wasn't always so contentious. In 1996, when Microsoft was just introducing CIFS, it had to contend with competition such as the Sun-Novell alliance behind Sun's WebNFS software. Microsoft at that time pledged that it was "making sure that CIFS technology is open, published and widely available for all computer users," and it noted that Samba used CIFS.

Microsoft submitted the first version of CIFS to the Internet Engineering Task Force at the time, a first step in the standardization process. That process went nowhere, but a 1997 version of that submission is still available on the Internet. The submission made no mention of two related patents, which Microsoft received in 1993 and 1995. In addition, Microsoft shared information in a series of CIFS conferences that began in 1996.

The patents, however, rose to prominence this year.

In the technical document describing CIFS in Windows NT 4.0, Microsoft prohibits companies from using the information in software covered by the GPL, which includes Samba. Microsoft requires readers of the document who plan to implement its description to sign a license agreement that raises the specter of patent infringement.

Specifically, the agreement grants a company a royalty-free license to two Microsoft patents but prohibits the developer from using the CIFS information in software that would subject that company to "intellectual property rights-impairing licenses," including the GPL.

Right... (0, Redundant)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684265)

Or it could be said that Bill just took his own advice. Depends on what he was looking to accomplish.
A future start-up with no patents of its own will be forced to pay whatever price the giants choose to impose.' Now, if only Bill were as clear-minded on the subjects of Innovation and Interoperability."

I believe Gates and Company have taken the approach of patents to protect themselves from suits from others. Has Microsoft actually sued someone over copying their technologies?

I know they've harrassed people like Mike Row (MikeRowSoft.com) but don't recall them pulling any SCO moves.

Re:Right... (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684340)

I guess the big fear right now is that at some point Microsoft, when it feels sufficiently threatened, may start using its patents to beat down open source products. Whether that materializes or not, I dunno, but I simply don't have much faith in Microsoft's good intentions. I suppose some things, like Samba, may be at least partially protected because of IBM's claims on Lanserver, but who knows. Maybe they will try to beat Linux down by claiming that people who want to mount FAT or NTFS partitions have to pay a licensing fee.

Re:Right... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684345)

Realistically, Microsoft threatening to sack Danish employees if the EU doesn't adopt software patents isn't consistent with merely wanting to defend themselves from patents. If that was what they wanted then they'd be on the anti-patent side of the fence.

Stallman pays attention to basic hygiene (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684087)

Now that would be real tech news.

Nelson: (2, Funny)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684088)

Stallman strengthens his point by feeding Bill his own words.

Once again, I imagine Nelson: Ha Ha!

Or in the mirror. . . (1)

uberjoe (726765) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684143)

Hey, that hurts. . . no wonder no one came to my birthday party.

Hehehe (5, Funny)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684090)

"Stop repeating everything I'm saying!"

"Stop repeating everything I'm saying!"

"Stallman's a dork."

"Stallman's a... HEY!"

Re:Hehehe (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684135)

> "Stop repeating everything I'm saying!"
> "Stop repeating everything I'm saying!"
> "Stallman's a dork."
> "Stallman's a... HEY!"

*pause*

"Stallman's a GNU/dork?"

Perhaps bill should heed these words (4, Interesting)

shadowknot (853491) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684091)

I think Bill could learn a lot from Stallman and by examining his own past and the way MS and Apple took the computer industry off of IBM in the early days.

Re:Perhaps bill should heed these words (0, Troll)

kevlar (13509) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684183)

I think Bill could learn a lot from Stallman and by examining his own past and the way MS and Apple took the computer industry off of IBM in the early days.

How would Bill learn from Stallman if he's examining his own past?

Bill could learn a lot from Stallman. For example, how to live off of academic endowments then criticize people who create proprietary software.

Re:Perhaps bill should heed these words (2, Funny)

thhamm (764787) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684235)

oops. i just read "I think Bill could learn a lot from Slashdot ..." :) secret wish?

What is there to learn? (-1, Troll)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684225)

Bill is worth several Billion. RMS is worth what?

I dont think bill needs to learn much from RMS.

Re:What is there to learn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684299)

Bill is worth several Billion. RMS is worth what?

It must be a matter of taste, but I wouldn't pay several billions for either of them. Not even in Yen.

calling the kettle communist?? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684092)

what the feck is THAT supposed to mean?

make sense, dammit.

Re:calling the kettle communist?? (1)

atomm1024 (570507) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684178)

Idiom "the pot calling the kettle black" [answers.com] + Bill Gates comparing [com.com] Open Source to Communism.

Re:calling the kettle communist?? (3, Funny)

CaptainCarrot (84625) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684268)

Idiom "the pot calling the kettle black"

So clearly the pot is a pinko commie. Probably a liberal too. Obviously not Revere Ware.

Re:calling the kettle communist?? (3, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684205)

He spelled it wrong. It meant to say calling the kettle GNU/communist.

Should have been: (3, Funny)

temojen (678985) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684282)

The hammer calling the sickle communist.

Re:Should have been: (0, Offtopic)

4Lancer.net (858900) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684348)

LOL

Thats rich (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684093)

I knew how to rule the world in 1991 but unfortunately it changed. For the better.

Re:Thats rich (4, Insightful)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684237)

I knew how to rule the world in 1991 but unfortunately it changed. For the better.

Yeah, Linux happened and Stallman's free software vision took off.

WOW! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684094)

S-L-U-T--W-H-O-R-E

Outstanding.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684097)

RMS is feeding the kettle

Well You know what they say about absolute power.. (5, Insightful)

phuturephunk (617641) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684106)

Idealism dies when you actually get put in the big chair.

Re:Well You know what they say about absolute powe (4, Insightful)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684304)

Pretty much. I think. Harold Weir from Freaks and Geeks said it best

"Everyone's a Democrat until they get a little money." -

Sad but true (3, Interesting)

4Lancer.net (858900) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684112)

How saddeningly true - the more patents there are, the less innovation, the less motivation for innovation. Ironically, I was going to use Microsoft as an example, before I realized it.

Mindwash required. (0)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684116)

I need a mindwash. You may as well all share my pain.

> "Stallman Feeds Gates His Own Words"

"Don't worry, nobody will ever nee*gakfmfmmmmp6wtf40phrghhshs*hare the Software! You'll be Free, Hackers! You'll be Free!"

> "Now, if only Bill were as clear-minded on the subjects of Innovation and Interoperability."

No thanks. I think I've already given up eating for today.

Admittedly, RMS IS a Commie, but... (5, Funny)

7Ghent (115876) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684117)

Gates is merely doing what's best for the stockholders. Oh wait. That's HIM.

Re:Admittedly, RMS IS a Commie, but... (4, Insightful)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684244)

Why would you "admit" that RMS is a commie when in fact RMS himself says he is not (in TFA)? Or is anyone who questions any facet of capitalism automatically a communist?

Patents (5, Insightful)

dadjaka (827325) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684118)

If Apple (or Xerox) had patented the GUI, we would still be stuck with DOS!

So, if M$ patents everything it can get its hands on, what innovations would it stop?

Re:Patents (1)

arudloff (564805) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684181)

Actually, it would have expired by now. Just.. ya know.. sayin ;)

Re:Patents (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684184)

" If Apple (or Xerox) had patented the GUI, we would still be stuck with DOS!

So, if M$ patents everything it can get its hands on, what innovations would it stop?"

Or we would all use Apples.

Re:Patents (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684188)

An absolutely perfect example. Mod up please.

Re:Patents (1)

javaxman (705658) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684207)

If Apple (or Xerox) had patented the GUI, we would still be stuck with DOS!

I thought we were supposed to like the command line around here.

Oh, wait. It looks like we are [iwarp.com] still stuck with DOS...

So, if M$ patents everything it can get its hands on, what innovations would it stop?

Well, considering (1) what the patent office is willing to allow and (2) what Microsoft can buy... a hell of a lot.

Nope (4, Insightful)

JoeBuck (7947) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684232)

Every important element of the modern GUI (windows, icons, menus, pointing device) was demonstrated by Doug Engelbart in 1968. His system even had something that looked a lot like a blog. The patents all would have expired long ago.

Re:Patents (1)

DarkMantle (784415) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684302)

If Apple (or Xerox) had patented the GUI, we would still be stuck with DOS!

Probably not. OS/2 would have probably evolved into the (proprietary?) OS of choice for x86 computers. Or perhaps Linux would be the dominant desktop OS for them.

But you could be certain that Apple would be more dominant then they are now. By how much, we'll never know, but with a lack of a single competitor Apples innovations on the desktop would have changed the face drastically. But with proprietary hardware it still would have been difficult to compete. That is, assuming Intel still saw competition from the likes of Cyrix and AMD.

Re:Patents (1)

MattJakel (815179) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684378)

So, if M$ patents everything it can get its hands on, what innovations would it stop?

This, IMHO, is the reason that M$'s lack of innovation is a good thing. Although I'm sure they have their fair share of patents that might not be justified, imagine if M$ somehow obtained a patent for IE... We would all be slaves to their browser! Imagine the humiliation!

Bill is out of it, again. (1)

Joelphil (846067) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684120)

Why doesnt this guy just retire? He clearly is living on planet "Whatever". See, and you thought you had to be smart to have lots of money?

Filter Time? (-1, Troll)

DaHat (247651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684123)

I've heard it said that /. needs a Linus filter so that those who don't care can easily avoid seeing any Linus related news on the main page... I think we also need an RMS filter.

Re:Filter Time? (5, Insightful)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684250)

Many of the news /. posts, are based on the work of RMS.

Many don't agree with him, i respect that. But even when you don't agree with many things he says, most of you are using an operating system that exists because of Richard's Work. You are also using thousands of lines of code that he wrote by himself. He has proved in the past to have been right, and the fact that he continued with his fight, even against what most others told him, has benefited the whole community.

So, don't agree with him if you don't want to, but at least hear what he has to say, you will learn a lot, and it's the least we can do to thank him for everything he has given us.

ALMAFUERTE

Bill Gates/ Ballmer filter ! (1)

free2 (851653) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684311)

Don't forget the increasing need for a Gates/Ballmer filter on Slashdot !
(and I think i saw more Windows news than Linux ones, lately on this site)

Bill and Richard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684124)

Bill Hatfield and Richard MacCoy?

YRO? (0, Offtopic)

jdludlow (316515) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684128)

Serious question. Can anyone tell what this could possibly have to do with online rights?

You mean RMS, the inventor of GNU/Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684130)

I thought he was busy getting the hurd together?

Let the ubiquitous RMS bashing begin... (4, Insightful)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684137)

...but first...

RTFA! I think he makes a valid, lucid point here and does a great job explained why software patents tend to be evil.

Re:Let the ubiquitous RMS bashing begin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684212)

Yes, but wait... the other side is Bill Gates! How can we bash someone on the other side facing Bill Gates?

Re:Let the ubiquitous RMS bashing begin... (4, Interesting)

hdparm (575302) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684291)

he makes a valid, lucid point

That's what he always does. Love Stallman or hate him, man is a genius.

Re:Let the ubiquitous RMS bashing begin... (1)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684337)

Now if only he could grow a sense of humour and continue to take his work seriously while taking himself much less seriously he would be a likable genius.

Why is everyone bashing RMS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684322)

..Why is "everyone" (=lots of people) bashing RMS. I cannot see anything wrong in what he says or how he thinks, still everyone seemes upset about him, without giving an explanation. Could someone please explain?

Re:Let the ubiquitous RMS bashing begin... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684371)

In a world with software patents, Microsoft has no choice. Stallman, being essentially a caricature, blames them for a world they didn't create, but do have to live in. Now that Microsoft has a bunch of capital in the form of patents amassed to defend itself, it's only reasonable to protect it's position. People will usually choose certainty over uncertainty.

Stallman's irrational denial of reason in the pursuit of a sweet but foolish ideal doesn't exactly make him the most effective choice for a poster boy.

He deserves a good bashing.

The correct phrase is (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684139)

Calling the kettle African American. You fucking racist cracker.

That's nice. (5, Interesting)

Caspian (99221) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684146)

Now, will this story actually get read by Microsoft-hugging MIS types and pointy-haired bosses?

The problem with Stallman is that, brilliant as he is, he only ever seems to garner attention from those who are already on his side. He preaches to the choir and only to the choir, which is kind of useless when 99% of the world wouldn't know a Linux (err, GNU/Linux ;) ) from a lentil bean.

What would it take to get a story like this onto the desk of every Gates-worshipping, MSFT-stock-owning, spyware-infested-Windows-machine-running, Gartner-Group-report-reading, pointy-haired boss?

And... holy crap, Stallman trimmed his beard???

Re:That's nice. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684177)

In preaching only to the choir, Stallman is unfortunately representative of the entire OSS crowd.

Here's a hint for the Linux zealots - if Joe Public gave a flying fuck about security, his copy of Windows wouldn't be infested by spyware, unpatched and unprotected by an antivirus.

can't breathe from laughing..... (0, Flamebait)

de1orean (851146) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684300)

What would it take to get a story like this onto the desk of every Gates-worshipping, MSFT-stock-owning, spyware-infested-Windows-machine-running, Gartner-Group-report-reading, pointy-haired boss?

i'm sorry, but that's fucking brilliant.... can we mod up more please???!?!?!?

Re:can't breathe from laughing..... (1)

Caspian (99221) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684323)

...err, what's so funny?

Re:That's nice. (5, Insightful)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684319)

"he only ever seems to garner attention from those who are already on his side"

That's true, it's our work to reach other people. Richard is out there to remind us what Free Software is all about, our task, is to understand it, and help develop and spread it. And do it the way it should be done, which is, by showing the real ethical reasons to use this system, and not just technical advantages.

Re:That's nice. (1)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684344)

Don't you mean a GNU/lentil bean?

Eating Crow? (4, Insightful)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684152)

One of the inherent problems with this kind of argument is that it assumes that opinions ought to be static. Frankly I think that beliefs and opinions should grow and change as one travels through life. What Bill Gates believed 14 years ago is certainly going to be different than what he believes now. That doesn't make what he said then any more insightful than what he says now. They are simply different. Now if RMS were comparing quotes within a couple weeks of each other (and no new information happened along in the intervening time) than I think it would be legitimate.

For those of us with a few years between school and the present, I'd ask you if you really wanted to be judged by what you think now, or what you thought then? Does it really matter that you're opinion of a decade ago doesn't gel with your opinion of today?

Re:Eating Crow? (1)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684222)

Perhaps, but in this case, it seems obvious that MS is doing everything they can to use software patents to stifle OSS and smaller companies. Remember: MS was found guilty of being a monopoly - that's a given. It's not much more of a stretch to assume that Gates' ambitions have not decreased in 14 years.

Re:Eating Crow? (1)

Thenomain (537937) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684263)

One of the inherent problems with this kind of argument is that it assumes that opinions ought to be static.

Or it challanges the quoted into explaining why they thought that then, or why they think something different now. Not that I expect any answer in this situation without a great deal of spin, but even that kind of answer is telling.

It also brings to the fore awareness that an opinion has changed, possobly giving some credence to the now-opposed viewpoint. ("Gosh, such a rich man started out thinking X.") Or possibly as groundwork for a "flip-flopper" campaign -- er, PR spin -- tactic.

Re:Eating Crow? (1)

KingJoshi (615691) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684296)

Opinions can change as we grow. But Bill had a legitimate point back in 1991. Right now, it benefits him to ignore the issues or dismiss them entirely. And since he's doing that, we should point it out, as Stallman has. What has changed and what has grown is Microsoft as a company. Their worth and their clout. And they continue to use that to the detriment of competition and the general public.

Re:Eating Crow? (1)

Flyboy Connor (741764) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684305)

What Bill Gates believed 14 years ago is certainly going to be different than what he believes now.

But Bill probably does not believe anything different now from 14 years ago. He probably still thinks patents are bad for innovation. At the time, however, he considered Microsoft to be an innovative company (which at the time it was, kind of). So he has just changed his opinion on whether patents are bad or good for Microsoft, and this opinion has changed because Microsoft has changed.

Re:Eating Crow? (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684358)

An "opinion" is one thing, and a fundamental ethical rule is a completely different one.

Opinions can change, But some basic ethical rules CAN'T and SHOUDLN'T change.

ALMAFUERTE

Re:Eating Crow? (1)

elpapacito (119485) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684366)

Indeed opinion can change ..and they can also conveniently change according to which opinion is more profiteable to hold at a certain moment in time. Indeed I'm not racist by nature, by I can hate them friggin whiggers if paid enough.

And I'm not really holier then anybody, as BIll only needs to pay me some hundred thousand bucks to silence my dissent....but to do that I must have a right to dissent to begin with...oh wait I need freedom of speech (which is all about dissent unlike rightwing would like you to believe)

Missed the best line (4, Interesting)

X (1235) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684154)

I thought the best line was: "Thanks to Mr. Gates, we now know that an open Internet with protocols anyone can implement is communism; it was set up by that famous communist agent, the U.S. Department of Defense."

Of course, he's twisting the meaning of things as much as Gates has, but of course that's the point.

Re:Missed the best line (1)

podperson (592944) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684387)

And, of course, the US Department of Defense is the world's largest command economy -- in effect a communist institution funded by taxes on a capitalist society.

Views Change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684166)

How many people think the exact same things they did 14 years ago? I know my views have changed a lot. Why can't Bill's?

Communists (5, Insightful)

fsh (751959) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684167)

Technically, Mr. Gates is right. The whole Open Source idea is a communist idea, not in terms of Soviet Russia (where software owns you) but in terms of a community of workers all banding together to produce their own labor, instead of selling themselves to the capitalists.

Seriously, folks, the current situation of Linux v. Microsoft is exactly what Marx and Engels were talking about.

What the Open Source community has is what all communist countries thus far have lacked, which is the admission of only like-minded people. For a commune to work, the citizens must all have similar ideas with respect to how to interact with the outside world. In a nation, where all citizens just become communists, this simply isn't possible.

Re:Communists (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684273)

but in terms of a community of workers all banding together to produce their own labor,

Wouldn't that make them capitalists?

That part always confuses me.

Re:Communists (1)

PepeGSay (847429) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684380)

Capitalism: an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market

communism: 1 a : a theory advocating elimination of private property b : a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed

Open-source *is* a communist structure, and we all know how well that structure worked out in Russia.

Competitive (1)

nostriluu (138310) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684336)


That's a one track statement. You could also argue free/open source is the most competitive way to move foward, instead of having thugs^W government and lawyers shut down competition for you.

What about the centralization aspect? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684372)

It is also part of communism where the group tries to centralize all of the means of production. In other words, all productive activity is to be controlled and organized from one place, and production for individual benefit becomes illegal.

Now, does that sound more like what MS is trying to do, or what Open Source people are trying to do?

It sounds to me like that one place is Redmond, and that for free/open source software, there is no such place or controlling entity.

With free/open source, anyone who doesn't like a development group's decisions can fork the code and develop their own code base. So, your comparison is not a fair one.

the "communist" line, from the original FA (0, Troll)

de1orean (851146) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684191)

... do you think intellectual-property laws need to be reformed?

No, I'd say that of the world's economies, there's more that believe in intellectual property today than ever. There are fewer communists in the world today than there were. There are some new modern-day sort of communists who want to get rid of the incentive for musicians and moviemakers and software makers under various guises. They don't think that those incentives should exist. +-+-+-+-+-+-+- what a creep. as if the almighty dollar were the only conceivable incentive for creative endeavor.

Another way to look at it..... (3, Interesting)

njcoder (657816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684213)

Another way to look at it, is that this might be where GNU ends up in a few years if Linux takes the kind of hold on computing people want it.

It's not uncommon to see young companies have the same type of attitude but along the way, as they become big, their strategies have to change based on the experience they have gained.

RMS is the driving idiological force behind GNU. People don't live forever. One day, someone else is going to take over and how do we know that the same ideals will be followed. More than that, how do we know that Stallman won't just decide one day that he's tired of living and dieing for free software and will shave his beard, take a shower and go on a date that doesn't charge by the hour?

Microsoft was the underdog for a long time. They came in cheaper and good enough. GNU/Linux right now is coming in as the cheaper/good enough solution. While there are some people that use free software on principle, the people paying for free software are doing it because it makes sense in their business... When something else makes sense, the money will follow.

One day, something else will take that spot and you're going to see a lot of whining and tantrums most likely followed by agressive tactics. To be perfectly honest, you see that now with competing open source technologies.

So, instead of seeing how Bill Gates has changed... consider this a warning as how F/OSS might possibly change in the future.

words from cowboyneal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684215)

one can hardly take a speech from 2001 as serious evidence these days

Stallman's FUD (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684233)

In quoting Gates discussing patents, he is being deceptive in that Gates, in refering to communists, is principally discussing copyrights/piracy when he refers to IP. MS has not patented their .doc format in such a way to prevent other programs from interpreting it.

all the smugness in the world (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684238)

...doesn't change the fact that rms is scurrying about at the feet of the important people, with a slightly-too-shrill series of nya-nyas.

that is to say, he's become a strictly reactive pedagogue, and it really really underlines the lack of creativity and originality in the FOSS scene.

Re:all the smugness in the world (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684326)

pedagogue [reference.com] ? I think you mean demagogue.

How can anyone trust these people? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684261)

(From the article)
When Mr. Gates started hyping his solution to the problem of spam, I suspected this was a plan to use patents to grab control of the Net. Sure enough, in 2004 Microsoft asked the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) to approve a mail protocol that Microsoft was trying to patent. The license policy for the protocol was designed to forbid free software entirely. No program supporting this mail protocol could be released as free software--not under the GNU GPL (General Public License), or the MPL (Mozilla Public License), or the Apache license, or either of the BSD licenses, or any other.

With such an underhanded move to crowd out free software, who can really trust these people when they claim to be acting in your best insterests?

Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684266)

The title assumes that Gates would in fact read what RMS wrote, which is very unlikely - any magazine that publishes Stallman's words is comparable to the Uptown gay magazine.

Stallman and Gates are as bad as Stalin and Hitler (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684280)

They are not opposites, they are 'opposames'. They both represent the triumph of the ego over the greater good.


Gates and Stallman are both 'unreasonable' people, and they are 'successful' as a a result of this trait.

whack the stupid git (5, Interesting)

coolestdickofall (858613) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684287)

FTFA: "If somebody sues you, you change the algorithm or you just hire a hit-man to whack the stupid git." - Linus Torvalds More people really need to take his advice...

From TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684316)

Richard Stallman is president of the Free Software Foundation as well as chief GNUisance of the GNU Project.

Abstraction Physics and patentability... (-1, Offtopic)

3seas (184403) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684320)

Physics of Abstraction (abstraction physics)

Abstraction enters the picture of computing with the representation of physical transistor switch positions of ON '1' and OFF '0' or what we call "Binary" notation. However, computers have far more transistor switches in them than we can keep up with in such a low level or first order abstract manner, so we create higher level abstractions in order to increase our productivity in programming computers. From Machine language to application interfaces that allow users to define some sequence of action into a word or button press (ie. record and playback macro) so to automate a task, we are working with abstractions that ultimately accesses the hardware transistor switches which in turn output to, or control some physical world hardware.

Programming is the act of automating some level of complexity, usually made up of simpler complexities, but done so in order to allow the user to use and reuse the complexity through a simplified interface. And this is a recursive act, building upon abstractions others have created that even our own created abstractions/automations might be used by another to further create more complex automations. In general, if we didn't build upon what those before us have done, we then would not advance at all, but rather be like any other mammal incapable of anything more than, at best, first level abstraction. But we are more, and as such have the natural human right and duty to advance in such a manner.

There is an identifiable and definable "physics of abstraction" (abstraction physics), an identification of what is required in order to make and use abstractions. Abstraction Physics is not exclusive to computing but constantly in use by ... well... us humans. Elements or facets of abstraction physics include the actions of abstraction creation and use, such as defining a word to mean a more complex definition (word = definition, function-name = actions to take, etc.), Starting and Stopping (interfacing with) of an abstraction definition sequence, keeping track of where you are in the progress of abstraction sequence usage (moving from one abstraction to another), defining and changing "input from" direction, defining and changing "output to" direction, getting input to process (using variables or place holders to carry values), sequencially stepping thru abstraction/automation details (inherently includes optionally sending output), looking up the meaning of a word or symbol (abstraction) so to act upon or with it, identifing an abstraction or real item value so to act upon it, and putting constraints upon your abstraction lookups and identifications (when you look up a word in a dictionary you don't start at the beginning of the dictionary, but begin with the section that starts with the first letter then followed by the second, etc., and when you open a box with many items to stock, you identify each so as to know where to put it in stock.)

Abstraction Physics has yet to be established/recognized in a broad "common acceptance" manner, similiar to the difficulty in the acceptance of the hindu-arabic decimal system (which included the concept that nothing can have value - re: the Zero place holder). It took three hundred years (from inception) for the innovation of the now common decimal system to overcome the far more limited Roman Numeral system. (NOTE: mathmatics and the symbol sets used are also abstractions and therefor a subset of abstraction possibilities and certainly an application of abstraction physics.) Though the act of programming is still younger than many who apply it, we are technologically moving at a much faster rate of incorporating innovations and better understandings of reality. There is a physics to abstraction creation and use which can be used to model and create a non-patentable user friendly general use, and dynamic, automation (abstraction creation and usage) tool, that also allows for organized placement and access of abstractions in a logical or mapable and navigateable manner (not unlike reference books we have today, from dictionaries, thesaurus, quick reference books to catalogs of parts, products, etc..)

Nature likes three (3) in primaries, as color in light (additive - red, blue, green) and paint (subtractive - blue, yellow, red) from which we can create all other colors in the rainbow. This applies to abstraction physics as well, as there are three primary user interfaces. The command line, the Graphical User interface (GUI) and the side door port to application and functionality access (known by many different names and application levels such as API, IPC, dcom, dcop, D-bus, plumber, etc., but each having its limitation and typically not so end user friendly). And Like the primary colors, if you take one away or limit its use, you constrain the ability of the user in putting new automations together or modifying existing ones. Causing false limitations in user ability also applies to the abstraction actions mentioned above, constrain access and you constrain users ability to create or modify.

When abstraction physics becomes better accepted, it will be much more obvious (an anti-patent facet) that most software is of such qualities (natural law, physical phenomenon, abstract ideas, algorythims, etc.) to NOT qualify for patentability. Currently patent granting organizations have no solid reference point of "abstraction physics" from which to test software patent applications against, or re-evaluate granted software patents.

The hindu-arabic decimal system enabled much more of the general population to apply mathmatics in a more powerful * manner than the roman numeral system allowed. Likewise, with the establishment and application of abstraction physics as common knowledge (as the decimal system is today, even taught in primary school) software will become genuinely free simply because it will be easy enough to create that the general population will be able to create it, or cause the machine to (recursive automation nature of programming), regardless of the resource limitations of the general population user regarding complexity details. Otherwise the act of programming becomes falsely constrained, as the acceptance of the decimal system, and its benefits, was constrained (perhaps by the roman numeral accountant elites protecting their vested interest.)

(*) Worth noting: The Roman Numeral system and its mathmatical limitation would not have allowed us to develope such a level of math complexity required for us to create/invent much of what we have today, including computers. Yet at the introduction of the Hindu-Arabic Decimal system, such potential creations/inventions were not even imagined. Perhaps the same inability to see where the acceptance and open (free) application of "abstraction physics" will indeed lead us in time, is a natural human constraint that only helps to support false constraints of "software patents". With certainty, to see how abstraction physics would allow, or cause, a genuine new level of economic competition and products to emerge, where (like as hind-sight) the idea of software patents would be considered anti-economic, just as the idea of constraining the use of the hindu-arabic decimal system to only those who can afford to pay royalities or adhear to some political position, etc., would today be laughed at in many ways including economically.

People these days... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684330)

In a business sence, it makes complete sense - as businesses are entirely out there to make money. However, ethically, it does not really gel all that well.

-But, for the most part, if the world was a more ethical place, the standard of living would most likely be a lot better..

But, people are too lazy and non-cohesive - I see it all around me- people willing to take the easiest route even if it 'against good ethics'. They just ignore that fact -

For an example [and I know this is overused], people use cars a lot, causing a lot of problems (what to do with car when its end of life [landfill], what to do with pollution caused by cars [sick people], etc, etc) - however, I suspect if everyone was to migrate to electric buses, or trains, that these things could be reduced, and the (average) quality of life would get better. People usually don't, because cars are convenient, they are common, and people don't see them as being expensive when compared to buses (even though some of those views are incorrect).

So, people are unlikely to choose linux or mac over what their parents/friends have (windows) as they are lazy and see difference/change as a terribly difficult thing to cope with.

Therefore, we see people like Bill Gates floundering about trying to make as much money as possible from the lazy ignorant masses - and his current stance on patents is one way of making sure 'the rebel forces' cannot get a foot in.

I think its disgusting... and I don't like cars (I use the bus as much as possible) and I have a Mac laptop and 2 linux severs (along with a single windows box which needs to be reinstalled every other week).

just my $2.

man... (1)

airjrdn (681898) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684343)

Thank goodness. I was afraid everyone had forgotten what he said almost 15 years ago.

14 years... so long ago that... (1)

jxyama (821091) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684359)

...in Soviet Russia, there were communists!

That's exactly why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684365)

That's exactly why OpenSource should patent as much of it's innovation as possible - even with the help of investors.

Out of context quote... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684377)

Sorry that was before he became Billcutus of the BORG...

Resistance is futile, you will be patented...

Look at that guy. (1, Funny)

dourk (60585) | more than 9 years ago | (#11684383)

Get a shave and a haircut, buddy. It 2005 already.

640k (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11684384)

If only Bill had patented his idea that 640k should be enough for anybody and innovated on that...
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