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Ballmer Calls Linux "A Cancer" 709

Posted by michael
from the chemotherapy dept.
davidebsmith writes: "In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says that Linux and the open source movement is "good competition" because it will "force [Microsoft] to be innovative," but calls Linux "a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches." He also says that the inclusion of IE in Windows has been "great ... for innovation in the software industry" (except for Netscape) and that MS's new copy protections are just "bumps in the road" to "help customers understand when they are crossing the line . . . so they can't do the wrong thing." And he says a few more amusing things, also."
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Ballmer Calls Linux "A Cancer"

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:11AM (#183266)
    To Moderators: This moderation you use...(+1, Funny)...I do not think it means what you think it means.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:39AM (#183267)
    I'd love to see someone on slashdot actually prove his statement wrong.


    It's simple, actually. If I write some code to sell and I only need ( read: want ) a tiny bit from, let's say, a GPL'ed library, well then, I should just go ahead and write that little bit myself. End of problem.

    On the other hand, if I want to use a large amount of GPL'ed code and add my little bit and sell it as mine, well, it's not really mine at all. Hence I shouldn't be allowed to sell it. If there were a way to buy the code, then doing this would be OK. But there isn't.

    And that's it. Q.D.E.


    -JD

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 01, 2001 @10:26AM (#183268)
    The distinguishing trait of cancer cells is that they have disabled the cellular machinery which puts a brake on their reproduction, so that they can reproduce without limit.

    Now look at RMS's three freedoms: the freedom to read the source code; the freedom to modify the source code; and the freedom to share the sources and binaries with others (yeah I know that's not exactly it, but I like the read-modify-share acronym).

    So, whereas closed-source software has limits on its reproduction, open-source software is explicitly designed to reproduce without limit, just like a cancer.

    Of course, unlike a cancer, open-source software helps your system live longer!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:34AM (#183269)
    I just looked up "innovate" in my handy-dandy MSWebster dictionary and got:

    in-no-vate (IN no vait) vt. - to take an idea from another company (cf. Apple)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:23AM (#183270)

    You're kidding right?

    There's plenty that's "free" about the GPL just not what some people want to be free (i.e. free to exploit).

    You are free to read the source code.

    You are free to wall-paper your house with the source code.

    You are free to recite the source code.

    You are free to compile the source code.

    You are free to copy to source code to another media.

    You are free to give a copy of the source code as a Christmas present.

    You are free to modify the source code.

    You are free to learn from the source code.

    You are free to tinker with the source code.

    You are free to charge a fee for transfering the source code. Now this of course does not mean that you are free to do these things in anyway whatsoever. (i.e. you may not be allowed to recite the source code over an illegal FM transmitter. Nor are you violate the terms of the GPL). Nonetheless, only a shabby miscrosoft-like absence of logic would allow the conclusion that there is nothing free about the GPL'ed software.

    What's funny is that the napster-kid mentality and the anti-GPL mentality seem to be essentially the same. "I deserve to be able to profit from someone else's work."

  • I think Ballmer made an interesting comment about `pirating' of software in homes when he said that artists and organizations like newspapers need to get paid. However, I don't know of any household that gets more than one copy of a newspaper..
    --
  • by Wakko Warner (324) on Friday June 01, 2001 @05:24PM (#183273) Homepage Journal
    The word has become quite arbitrary at Microsoft.
    I'm hungry. I think I'll go innovate a sandwich.

    --
    Forget Napster. Why not really break the law?

  • Q: The new Windows XP software, I've seen a trial version, contains a number of free products--media player, a CD burner, an Internet firewall. Could that bundling hurt smaller competitors who make stand-alone software? Isn't this kind of bundling that you offered with Windows and Internet Explorer?

    A: Just as with Internet Explorer, our job is to offer customers what they want. We are trying to provide more functionality at the same or better prices every day. [A]ll the new capabilities of Windows XP are open to software developers to add onto, to build value around. I think Windows XP ought to be a real boon to the kinds of innovations that come from smaller companies. The inclusion of Internet Explorer with Windows has been absolutely great ... for innovation in the software industry. Whether it was great for Netscape is a different question.


    I realize that it's not illegal or anything, but isn't what Ballmer's saying here really "our customers were going to other companies for their software, so we decided to bundle it so they don't have to go elsewhere"?

    This is of course perfectly legal (I think). If I had a company that made widgets and I could get more clients by adding feature X to my widget, I probably would. However, combine this with complete dominance of the widget market (or close to it, a monopoly however you look at it), this means that widget manufacturures who survive by making feature X are being squashed.
  • An interesting question.

    At any rate, Ballmer is psychotic. I don't see how his perceptions jibe with the real world at all. It's basically a 'nyah nyah I'm not listening' reaction. I believe he's totally sincere when he doesn't attempt to identify ANY area Microsoft doesn't plan to control, and I believe he's equally sincere when he says they're acting just as they always have: which we have a very clear picture of, thanks to the DoJ.

    The only remaining question to my mind is, at what point does government (ANY government) begin to realise Microsoft wants all of THEIR turf as well? They really are going for direct control. They really are. What else would they be doing around about now?

  • No, he means 'available to everybody' in the sense of the IE-only British Government website recently in the news. Everybody has to have IE and Windows. Government should not fund anything unless it makes people have IE and Windows :)
  • I wonder how these "bumps in the road" will be received. Most of the people in my company still use NT4.0 with service pack 6. We haven't deployed Windows 2000 yet, although a few developers run it. It's going to be expensive to upgrade. Think home users are going to go for that? If your home machine needs to have it's OS reloaded, it's going to be a big hassle. I suspect these "bumps in the road" will translate into gouges in the eye.
  • by alewando (854) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:05AM (#183279)
    Chances are, it's a quote taken out of context or a wholesale fabrication by a reporter. Microsoft didn't get where it is today by putting its collective foot in its mouth like that, so when you hear a quote as absurd as "Linux is a Cancer" (which Microsoft itself knows to be a falsehood), take it with a grain of salt.

    FUD is your enemy, but don't compound the problem by restorting tooFUD yourself. Microsoft still deserves the benefit of the doubt, and we should always take a careful investigatory approach whenever we wish to report news that may be damaging to the reputation of either party. That's the approach Microsoft has historically used (see mindcraft and others), and it's the least we can do too.
  • Hey, Steven. It's called Research!
  • Microsoft's point is that the situation is far worse on Unix. And, you know what? No matter how many windows service releases you can list, they are right.

    It's not really any worse. Hell, at least you can get open and honest documentation for most open source software. Often you can even get help from the creators if you can't find the answer you're looking for. Microsoft will offer you something similar, if you're willing to sign NDAs, give them all your money, and let billg make you his bitch.

  • but guess what? If you are developing for a Microsoft system you don't need them.

    Not everyone develops for MS OSes. I use MSDN quite a bit since I have to use MS products at work. I know what they have there. Sure, as long as you're just developing solutions for MS products with MS products, you're fine. You don't really need to know how the stuff works, just that it does. But if you're trying to say... import a Word document into an app you're writing, then you're pretty much screwed. They don't give you everything you need to know. They don't want people to have that info. That's what I'm talking about.

    Now, when it comes to Linux, you don't have a central repository like MSDN, but it's still pretty easy to find answers (MSDN isn't exactly simple sometimes either depending on what you're looking for). If I can't find info in the docs, there are several good websites with tons of info on just about every aspect of Linux. Additionally there are message boards, usenet groups and irc channels where you can usually find answers as well.

  • Thanks to the spirit of consumer advocation, Microsoft has provided the public with some very unsettling news. Open source is bad for businesses! Luckily, through a complete coincidence, Mr. Ballmer works at a company that can save you from open source! That's right, if you buy Microsoft products instead, you can totally avoid the cancer!

    It's through selfless efforts like this that makes Microsoft such a great company. Thanks Microsoft! Where would the world be without you?

    Really people. What did you expect him to say? Yeah, that's right. Linux is totally superior to our software in every way. If you switch to open source today, why, you're no longer our bitch! You can totally stop putting up with our crap like constant bluescreens, ridiculous licensing schemes, forced upgrades, and no source code. In fact, you'd have to be crazy to put up with us. What's wrong with you people?

    This could be sort of justified if a reputable consumer advocate group said "avoid open source for the following reasons". But it's not.

  • I also don't mind requiring code developed under those circumstances to be distributed in the public domain. However, that's a red herring. There's no problem at all (in my view) with the NSA distributing their Linux mods; they can distribute them in the public domain, since that can be incorporated freely into GPL'ed code.

    The GPL only requires that you distribute a derived work (containing previously GPL'ed code and your code, which you still hold the copyright to) under the GPL. You can still distribute the code that's purely your own under any additional licenses you please, when that code is distributed by itself. It's only when it's distributed in combination -- as a single work -- that it must be distributed under the GPL. That's why there's no problem with incorporating BSD licensed code into GPL code. The BSD code can still be distributed as it was before; the GPL only applies to the instance that was incorporated into the GPL'ed software. The thing you don't want to do is put GPL'ed code (that's covered only by the GPL) into something else, if you're not prepared to distribute the combination under the GPL.

    The potentially thorniest issue that I see is what happens if you use macro, constant, and variable names from GPL'ed header files. Use of the macros per se isn't an issue; they could be rewritten (the header files just describe an interface; that description can be rewritten). However, if the names themselves are considered to be subject to copyright there could be an issue.

    IANAL, so take it for what it's worth (i. e. nothing).
  • His point was that when the government funds it, it isn't *your* code, but public code. You really don't need to be pro-microsoft to see that . .

    I see that just fine. It's just that since I helped pay for it, I would rather that it remain free (via GPL) rather than get snapped up, modified a bit, and sold (rather licensed or rented) to me.

    The reason (in theory) that government funds code is for the public good. If GPL will cause more code to be contributed to the public good, then the tax money will provide greater returns.

  • He called open source good competition in general. He then went on, though, to confuse "open source" with the GPL and other viral licenses.


    His point was that when the government funds it, it isn't *your* code, but public code. You really don't need to be pro-microsoft to see that . . .


    I don'[t find myself agreeing with microsoft a lot, but he's right about this one. If the government is paying for it, it should be public domain, or at least under a free license, not encumbered with te GPL. Under the GPL, you really do have a government subsidy competing with private business.


    hawk, who has never (to the best of his knowledge) been called pro-microsoft by anyone of reasonable intelligence

  • This is sort of like the tyrant saying to people crying for a republic: Before I came along you were living in caves.

    I don't believe in being able to own knowledge. In the past it was the kings and emperors owned all knowedge (see the story of where copyright came about). Now since we got republics, we sort of started wondering who to give information to, so we just pick the rich and ruling class apparently.

    How come we all can agree that things like schools, military, and zero gravity toilets are neccessary for public good and are all willing to pay the government to support it. But we can't agree that software is for public good and it must be a viable product (thus we need to make up the notion of ownership of knowledge) for us to use/buy/do it.

    Note I have only one thing against miscrosoft and it's products, the fact that they're proprietary. And thus I cannot use them, and I will not use them because I don't like giving up my rights and I don't like giving up the community's rights in order to be able to change the font in an easier way.

  • The way the license[gpl] is written, if you use any open-source software, you have to make the rest of your software open source

    That's pretty much what Mundie said. Seems that that's the Company Line. And I think RMS, O'Reilly, et. al. addressed that pretty well.

    Let's see ...

    1. Craig Mundie has made a false statement. GPL does not require you to "make the rest of your software open source"; only software that is derived from copyrighted, GPLed software.
    2. Craig Mundie knows it's a false statement. He has responded to refutations of his statements; therefore, he has read said refutations, and knows that he's wrong.
    3. Craig Mundie is making this false statement maliciously. He's doing it in order to hurt his open-source and free-software competitors.

    I believe the lawyers have a word for what happens when someone knowingly makes a maliciously false statement in print. I believe that word is libel.

  • Thus spake Steve Ballmer:

    "Linux is a cancer on intellectual property, and we (Microsoft) are...hey Bill, what cures cancer?"

    Ever notice that Ballmer looks like Frankenstien's monster?
  • The average Joe isn't going to think Office XP is cool because it will be the first version of Office that he has to pay full price for. Most MS Office users "borrow" copies of the software from work. They figure (incorrectly) that since they use the software for "work" that it is all right to do this. Heck, some MIS managers even think that the license actually allows this.

    Microsoft is turning the screws up on everyone big businesses and small businesses alike. Microsoft now owns the office suite market, they have driven out Corel and Lotus, and now everyone is going to pay.

  • Microsoft is not going to try to contest the GPL in court. Microsoft is an intellectual property company. Attacking the GPL would weaken copyright, and copyright is what allows them to make big fat piles of money. However, Microsoft is going to trot out all of their top executives and have them say things like "Linux is un-American" or "Open Source software is a cancer."

  • I think that Balmer has a point when he states that Microsoft is simply making it clear what is and what is not legal. Microsoft's licensing is quite complicated, and I for one will be glad when their software gives me a better idea as to whether or not I am in compliance.

    It is Microsoft's prerogative to enforce their license as they see fit. Just because I happen to like Free Software does not mean that I want to steal someone else's copyrighted work.

    I even think that this will be good for Linux. Consumers hate being treated like criminals, and they dislike jumping through hoops to use something that the have paid for even more. Linux's lack of licensing fees will look especially attractive once Microsoft starts enforcing their licenses.

  • OpenBSD can't use GPL code, because you can't do what you want with it, and that is against Theo's belief.
    Apache can't use GPL code, because that would require GPLing the whole thing.


    The problem with Ballmer's statement (and with yours) is that he doesn't explain what he means by "use", and he seems to strongly imply that he means what a normal computer user means -- for example, when I "use" gcc, I type a command line and execute a program that compiles some code. When I "use" Linux, I browse the web and play games and code and so on. Of course, the OpenBSD and Apache people can (and do) "use" GPL'd code in this sense all the time. They can even go a step further and hack and and modify and "use" the code in a programmer's sense, as long as they don't make proprietary modifications.

    Most people here know better -- you obviously understand the implications of the GPL vs. less restrictive licenses / public domain, and that's a legitimate point -- but it goes right over the head of the vast majority of people to whom Ballmer is speaking. To them, the message is: "If you use open source software, everything you do will be forced to be open source. Linux will destroy your intellectual property!"

    Ballmer's not an idiot -- of course he knows all this. It isn't a "mistake" he's making by accident -- it's a calculated move.
  • by mattdm (1931) on Friday June 01, 2001 @10:28AM (#183298) Homepage
    If you accept the incorrect usage of "open source" to mean "GPL'd code" then this statement makes perfect sense.

    I'm afraid it still doesn't. Or rather, it makes sense but just isn't true. Anybody -- Microsoft, OpenBSD, whoever -- can use and modify GPL'd code to their heart's content, and it won't "infect" their other code at all. Ballmer claims that if a company uses any open source [GPL'd] code, that company has to make all of their IP available. That's simply not the case.

    That said, I agree that it's good that all goverment products are in the public domain. That's a great way to do this -- it just isn't a reason for the goverment (or any company) to not use open source / Free software.

  • Hmm, seems to me that if you have both Windows 2000 and Linux crashing on your box... you may just have a hardware problem.

  • Remember the good old days when a magazine or newspaper would say something remotely negative about the Amiga? Or OS/2?

    And how the zealots would flame them to death in a letter writing campaign.

    It got to a point where journalists would either refuse to say anything about the products, or do it as a joke to see how much of a response they would get.

  • When I first got into computing there was no GPL, there was no Shareware...

    There was commercial software and there was public domain software. Commercial software was Microsoft BASIC, Infocom's Zork, Turbo Pascal. Public domain consisted of things such as Modem7, Hunt the Wumpus, etc.

    You can't make public domain software disappear. Microsoft or Sun or any other "evil" corporation can't make the software vanish from the face of the earth by looking at it.

    What they can do is take it, improve upon it, modify it, enhance it, and sell that new version.

    They are not charging you for the original software, they are charging you solely for their enhancements.

    God I am getting so sick of having to explain this point to mental midgets.

  • "Do you believe that Microsoft, et all, have some RIGHT to code that they had no part in writing? "

    If it was funded by tax payer dollars...

    The answer is YES.

    This is what Ballmer said in the article we're discussing.
  • In his cancer sentence, Ballmer deliberately and misleadingly lumps all open source software into the same category as GPL software. Many here have already pointed out this mistake.

    However, a point that no one has yet made, that I think deserves to be made, is that source code for closed source programs like Microsoft Windows is not allowed to be used in other programs AT ALL. What right does Mr. Ballmer have to complain about GPL restrictions, when his own software carries far worse restrictions?

    Why is there a double standard, whereby Mr. Ballmer may choose any restrictions he wants on Windows code, but any licensing restrictions on Linux code is automatically considered "a cancer"?

  • After meeting with "industry representatives", President Bush signs an executive order banning the use of taxpayer funds for open-source software projects; justifies it as defending America's software industry and its right to innovate.
  • So GPL is "free" if I'm willing to accept a creative redefinition of the word "free". And I can "use" GPL'd code as long as I'm willing to accept a creative limitation of the word "use".

    Gee, what a deal.

    You can play with these verbal gymnastics all day long and it won't conceal the fact that GPL'd code is inaccessable to developers unwilling or unable to GPL their own code. Whether this is a feature or a liability is the only difference that your personal perspective makes on the situation.

    I'm content to let you appear in this discussion as the clever pundit if you'll let me continue being the one who is being correct.

    Cheers.
  • I am no expert on the Microsoft security model

    Well, at least you're honest.

    Kerberos work ok within a standard Kerberos environment? No?

    And here's why you're clearly not an expert. The answer to your faux rhetorical question is "yes". Microsoft's Kerb5 implementation in Win2K interoperates with MIT Kerberos quite beautifully. Moreover, the additions which Microsoft made to the Kerb protocol were compliant with the protocol. Additionally, the changes made only serve to make Kerberos more useful in a windows environment. If you aren't running windows they offer no benefit so there's no incentive for non-windows shops to move away from the MIT (or other vendor's) kerberos implementation.

    A key component of "embrace and extend" is that you have to encourage users to migrate to your implementation. None of the extensions Microsoft made to Kerberos do anything to encourage migration.

    Why don't you leave the pontificating about Microsoft's use of Kerberos to those of us who actually use Kerberos in a mixed-platform environment?

  • Contrary to popular opinion, you *can* get paid money to write GPL'd software. Nothing prohibits a company from selling GPL'd software, as long as the source is available to those who buy the binary distribution.

    Granted, the company I work for makes their money from support services, rather than directly from the software - but that doesn't change the fact that there are a good number of people who work here, getting paid to write GPL'd software =)

  • Granted, the farther away from the OS you get the less distasteful it is, but the issue still stands that public funds have payed for substantial development which is inaccessable to much of the public.

    Hmm...How exactly is GPL'd code inaccessible to much of the public? Anyone can get their hands on the code. Anyone can tinker with it. Anyone can use it. The only real catch is that if you modify it, that you release those modifications under the GPL as well. I fail to see how requiring that additions/modifications be released in such a way that the code remains publically accessible limits the public's rights to *access* the code.
  • by ocie (6659) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:33AM (#183326) Homepage
    The slipery slope comes when you are talking about research at state universities. Should a grad student be able to release his/her research software under GPL, or should they be forced to use a BSD-style license? Of course, the stipends and cost of computer time for a few CS grad students doesn't add up to much in the grand scheme of things..
  • by jimhill (7277) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:24AM (#183330) Homepage
    Hold on a second.

    I assume you're speaking of the US government. Among the things that government is tasked with is to promote the general welfare and to secure the blessings of liberty. That means that they have a legitimate role to play in the creation of public goods. Public roads, public health, and now, public computing infrastructure. There's nothing wrong with private companies making money doing things _for_ the government, but when the work is done, the results belong to everyone. If that means that the opportunity for a person or a corporation to make money providing something which serves a public interest is lost, then so be it.

    The legal fiction that corporations are "people" who pay taxes and merit governmental protection is nice and it's one which has served the economy well in the past (discussions about its present state are deferred to other /. stories) but when there is a compelling public interest to be served by government spending, the loss of a corporation's ability or even a private individual's ability to make a profit in that arena is just too bad. Ideally, a compromise is reached wherein the public interest is served AND a sufficient profit can be made privately that the interest is served inexpensively by the most economically efficient body which competes to provide the interest.

    I suppose what I'm trying to say is that the kind of software that I'd expect the government to fund is critical infrastructure: BIND, TCP/IP, and so forth. And that kind of software should be made available at no cost, either under a free license or by release directly into the public domain. I wouldn't expect the government to gut Intuit by releasing a free Quicken knockoff.
  • by Nugget (7382) <nugget@distributed.net> on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:32AM (#183340) Homepage
    Ballmer's point is that the GPL is not a "free" license in this sense. What if the government-funded TCP/IP development had been released under a license which prevented its use in any product which wasn't released as GPL'd code?

    The GPL restricts how code can be used, and government code should be provided without restrictions.

    This has nothing to do with "corporations" or their legal status. Let's not blur the issue. This is about how everyone's money is being used to develop code that not everyone can use.

    If we're all going to pay for it, we should all be able to use it.
  • by Nugget (7382) <nugget@distributed.net> on Friday June 01, 2001 @11:16AM (#183341) Homepage
    "Public domain" makes it available only to the first generation of people that touch it. It allows corporations to turn it into "Proprietary Software", which in effect means that the from that point on, the software is no longer "freely available to all".

    The problem here is that the "it" you're talking about no longer exists at that second generation. If a developer takes public domain code and uses it as a foundation of or a component of their own work then I don't understand how you can expect to have a claim to free access to the work they did. Any value that a developer is able to add to or extract from a piece of public domain code should be theirs to license as they see fit. He who does the work (or funds the work) should have the freedom to set the license. The GPL eliminates this freedom by requiring GPL on both derivative works and work which incorporate even small portions of GPL'd code into their codebase.

    Public domain is, and always remains public domain and "freely available to all". There's no way to remove something from the public domain.

    I want publicly funded software to remain publicly available and free to all. I don't want Microsoft or any other corporate entity to swallow it and never let it see the light of day again.

    Please explain how using code makes it unavailable.

    I do not believe that we, the people, our government, should be obliged to give anything for free to corporations.

    I have no idea what your mini-rant on coporations has to do with this. GPL code is equally inaccessable to anyone who wishes to do non-GPL development. That can mean a multi-billion dollar corporation and it can also mean me in my bedroom trying to develop software as a sole proprietorship. Hell, it can even refer to a non-profit organization or an open source developer like the Apache Foundation.

    I think your distaste for corporations is clouding your judgement on this issue.

  • by Nugget (7382) <nugget@distributed.net> on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:16AM (#183342) Homepage
    If you accept the incorrect usage of "open source" to mean "GPL'd code" then this statement makes perfect sense.

    I presume that what Ballmer meant to say was "The only thing we have a problem with is when the government funds GPL'd work. Government funding should be for work that is available to everybody."

    This is an understandable viewpoint. GPL'd code is not accessable to everybody. It is only accessable to developers who are willing to release their code under the GPL license which excludes large portions of the community. Government-funded GPL code is inaccessable to the Apache Foundation, it's inaccessable to the OpenBSD developers, and it's inaccessable to any commercial developers who are working on closed-source products.

    If tax dollars are funding a project, then the results of that development should be available to everyone and not just people who use one particular license. This is the rationale behind the laws which prevent the government from enjoying a copyright on the data it produces.

    Government code should be public domain, not placed under a restrictive license like the GPL.
  • by Kozz (7764) on Friday June 01, 2001 @11:29AM (#183345)
    The licensing could be a bitch, but check out their cure!
    http://bbspot.com/News/2000/12/ms_cancer.html [bbspot.com]



    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.
  • by mattkime (8466) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:08AM (#183349)
    I heard you can't get catch cancer from computers unless you have Microsoft Outlook installed.
  • by Angst Badger (8636) on Friday June 01, 2001 @11:15AM (#183350)
    If another company was lying about my product in order to hurt my business, I'd sue them for defamation.

    Microsoft is lying about Linux in particular and GPLed software in general, and the FSF ought to haul them into court over the issue. Sure, the GPL is viral, but simply writing software to run under Linux does not compromise your IP rights unless you use GPLed code to do it, which is certainly not necessary.

    The other thing that strikes me, as it usually does when the GPL comes up, is how distributors of closed software are quite insistent that you must respect the terms of their licenses, but bitch like spoiled children when an open developer insists that they respect the terms of his. Closed source developers need to clue into the fact that they can't have it both ways. If you want to protect your own intellectual property, you must refrain from stealing others. It's like arguing that because some women are prostitutes, it's okay to treat all women like prostitutes, and it reflects pretty much the same personality type.

    Nuff said.

    --

  • by lar3ry (10905) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:30AM (#183365)
    And people start to believe it.

    This propoganda tactic was in use before World War II, and apparently, it still works.

    Even in politics, say the same lie often enough and it gets believed. President George Bush (Sr.) would dismiss civil rights legislation as a "quota bill." Now, President Junior does the same thing, saying that his "Lets Give Lots Of Money To The Rich Guys" tax policy as "favoring the poor."

    In the high-tech area, we're hearing Allchin, Mundie, and now Ballmer repeating that "open source is not available to commercial companies."

    This is a lot of horseshit. It's available to anybody and everybody. However, if you don't want to use it, then don't.

    The GPL license (which the GNU folks will repeat over and over is NOT OPEN SOURCE), is a license to use a piece of software. It is no different than the license in which a person runs Windows, Office, or any other Microsoft product. One can say that using the same reasoning, Microsoft software is not available to commercial companies. Of course, that is, commercial companies that do not wish to abide by Microsoft's licenses, which is much more stringent with regard what you can and can not do than any interpretation that I've ever heard of the GPL.

    If you don't like the license, don't use it. Microsoft has that right with regard to the GPL. However, Microsoft is not every commercial company. There are many companies, including IBM, Sun, RedHat, and others, that are only too happy to abide by the GPL.

    But you have to give the Microsoft flaks du jour credit for continuing to play the "most so-called journalists are so f*cking stupid that they don't know the GPL from TNT" card.
    --
  • by Mr. Flibble (12943) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:12AM (#183372) Homepage
    The only thing we have a problem with is when the government funds open-source work. Government funding should be for work that is available to everybody. Open source is not available to commercial companies. The way the license is written, if you use any open-source software, you have to make the rest of your software open source. If the government wants to put something in the public domain, it should. Linux is not in the public domain. Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches. That's the way that the license works

    Open source is not available to commercial companies. Hmm. Linux is Open Source right? I use Linux here at work - for a commercial company.

    The way the license is written, if you use any open-source software, you have to make the rest of your software open source. Maybe I read the GPL incorrectly, but, um... Isn't that the point? (On another note, our company uses Linux, but releases closed-source binarys of our primary product. No problems with that!)

    Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches. Again, thats rather the point, but it does not "attach" itself to everything it touches, Q3A is not GPL'ed but it runs on Linux just fine.

    But then who am I kidding right? This is Slashdot. We all know this (Apart from the newbies and trolls). I am just preaching to the Choir. What I am interested in is the exact gist of these comments. What is Balmer trying to accomplish here?

    We know he mentions competition (to keep the Justice Dept. off of his back) and Microsoft is consistantly trying to poison the GPL, but not Linux... I think MS is more afraid of the GPL than anything else, if they can disparage the GPL, they can (they believe) damage the free software movement. I don't think that they will be sucessful, but they will through this strategy keep Linux off of the desktop (but not servers) for some time to come. (At this stage, IMO Linux is not ready for the mainstream desktop user, and maybe it never will be, thats not a bad thing though.)

    Anyone else have a take on what they think Microsoft is up to?
  • by warlock (14079) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:59AM (#183378) Homepage
    Oh, please... they could have "embraced and extended" Kerberos even if it was GPL. There is no indication that they used any code from available BSD licensed implementations, and there's every indication that they have competent enough developers to read the bloody specs and roll their own.

    Please don't spoil an otherwise good post with FUD like that.
  • I take issue with several sophisms that Steve Ballmer attempted to promulgate during his interview with the Sun-Times, printed on June 1st.

    Ballmer claims that "Open Source is not available to commercial companies. The way the license is written, if you use any open-source software, you have to make the rest of your software open source." This is an out-and-out mistatement of what open source licenses do. In order to keep Sun-Times readers well-informed, perhaps an examination of the essentials of the two most popular open source licenses would be in order.

    The BSD license, originally created to cover software released by UC Berkeley, essentially requires only that you retain a notice attributing the original source of the software. Thus software under the BSD license is very close to the public domain -- all you have to do to use it in any way you wish is to appropriately credit the original author. You don't even have to post this credit in a prominent place (like the about box or documentation of a program). It only has to go in the code, and users might even remain unaware that a program uses BSD licensed software.

    One good example of this can be found in Microsoft's own Windows NT and Windows 2000. The IP stack -- an essential portion of the networking code -- is actually taken from code released under the BSD license. Microsoft has thus taken open source software and succesfully incorporated it into one of their flagship products -- all without resulting in any loss of intellectual property on Microsoft's part.

    The GNU Public license, originally created at the Free Software Foundation, is stricter in its requirements than the BSD license, but nowhere near as restrictive as Ballmer suggests. It is true that if you take code from
    a piece of GPL'd software and release a derivitave work based on that code, then you must release that derivitave work, with source code, under the GPL.
    The GPL makes this requirement in order to ensure people will always be able to freely use, inspect, and modify software released under the GPL. Software released under the GPL cannot be made proprietary.

    However, there is NO provision in the GPL that states you must release ALL your software under the GPL. Non-derivative works may be released under any license the copyright owner please. Thus, a company such as Corel can distribute their own version of the popular GPL'd operating system Linux and simultaneously sell their Word Perfect Office Suite in the traditional proprietary manner. They are not required to open source all of their products -- not even their version of Word Perfect that runs on Linux -- because these products are not derived from GPL'd software. This example neatly refutes Ballmer's assertion that "Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches." The GPL applies to and affects only software that is derived from other GPL'd software, allowing companies handle the distribution and licensing of their proprietary software in any way they see fit.

    It's worth noting that Corel and Microsoft itself are only two of many corporations and small businesses who are succesfully incorporating open source software into their operations. AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Sun have long used similar strategies. AOL, EBay, Red Hat, VA Linux, and others are among the growing powerhouses that have learned to harness and profit from the increasing popularity of open source. Far from being a cancer that is unfit for business use, open source has proved to be a boon for those who understand it.

    The verity of these points is obvious to anyone who has spent suffecient time familiarizing themselves with the essential facts about various types of open source software. Either Ballmer is simply uninformed about his competitors, or he is taking advantage of his opportunities in public forums such as the Sun-Times to intentionally mislead people about software which is competing (quite effectively) with Microsoft's own products. Given Microsoft's history, which do you beleive?

    Sincerely,


    --
  • by Pope (17780) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:54AM (#183407)
    MS liscensed Spyglass Mosaic with the terms that Spyglass get a percentage of the profits of selling IE.
    MS gave away IE for free.
    Profits to Spyglass? $0.
  • by gmhowell (26755) <gmhowell@gmail.com> on Friday June 01, 2001 @10:39AM (#183427) Homepage Journal
    If you are correct that M$ is bashing the GPL and not Linux (which they are, but the question is are they attacking GPL directly, or only using it to indirectly attack Linux?) then it is quite interesting.

    M$ has many lawyers. Why would they attack the GPL unless it looked rigorous enough to hold up? Possibly the only attacks would also destroy the validity of their own licenses. No matter, it means that even though there has not been a legal challenge of the GPL, Microsoft is afraid to be the first.

    In a nutshell, that's a damned good thing. If even M$ is afraid to attack the GPL on legalistic grounds, nobody should, and that means that that particular argument (no legal test yet) is now pointless (if it ever had weight to begin with).

    BTW, anybody have any idea which projects M$ is specifically bitching about the US (presumably) gov't funding that they can't use? Sure, there is SELinux, but what about the Navy development of that automated ship? I certainly can't use that. IBM can't. But anyone can use SELinux.

    I know. It's typical M$PR. Anybody have Ballmer's phone number? Or how about the phone number's of some major investment houses? I mean, how can you put mutual fund money into a company heading by someone who is either: a) an idiot or b) morally bankrupt?

  • by scotpurl (28825) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:14AM (#183435)
    Let's take a look around at the other big companies. Oracle has an egomaniac for a CEO. Apple, yeah, ditto for their CEO (or whaver Jobs' title is these days), whom it's apparently not safe to be with in an elevator.

    The companies that have the biggest following of loyalist fans also have these sort of banana-republic dictator personalities running the company. In order to gain new territory, you sometimes have to rally the troops (employees) and your allies (investors) by making bold, outrageous statements. Usually it's limited to something like, "we're going to make a lot of money this year," or "our new product is The Next Big Thing."

    CEO's are really politicians. And like everyone in power, they know a little secret: the masses don't want to hear the truth. People enjoy being lied to, and deluded, and misled. There's so much evil, selfishness, and contempt in the world that the masses don't want to hear it. An investor doesn't want to hear that another stock they own is going to tank. They want to hear that their stocks have all gone bullish. Customers don't want to know that they've purchased another mediocre product. They want to beleive that it will actually work as advertised, and cure the common cold.

    Repeat after me. It's propoganda. It's not the truth.

    Linux shifts the economy from product-based to service based (since the product is free + your time). IBM sells services, and they like Linux. Microsoft sells products, and feels their bottom line is being threatened. They have a right to make a product, and people have a right to buy, or not to buy, their product.
  • by remande (31154) <remande.bigfoot@com> on Friday June 01, 2001 @07:34PM (#183445) Homepage
    Linux is a cancer to M$, because it puts code out of M$'s reach and requires (certain, obviously not all) additional code to do the same.

    A cancer is a malformation of growing cells within a body. If it is its own organism, it isn't a cancer; at worst it's probably blue-green algae.

    So if Linux is a cancer, what is the body?

    When I read the interview, they imply that the body is corporate software companies, specifically what we often call "closed source".

    We don't think that Linux is in that body.

    My guess is that M$'s problem is that Linux is eating at the body of possible code to write. That noosphere of possible code looks limitless to some; to Microsoft, it looks quite limited. And they want to own nothing less than the entire noosphere. Other companies are writing code; that's alright, M$ will buy them out sooner or later. When the faceless horde of OSS makes software, they are the cancer that eats away at the limited noosphere. OSS is stealing code and locking it away from Microsoft, who has manifest destiny over the entire noosphere.

    Heaven help us all.

  • by Flower (31351) on Friday June 01, 2001 @11:04AM (#183450) Homepage
    Well, that's exactly the way I feel about patents for government funded research. Why the hell should the people who created the RSA algorithm be allowed to patent their publicly funded work then only allow one company to use their algorithm?

    The difference is with the GPL you can't corner the market. Your code can be forked, incorporated, enhanced or whatever by anyone as long as they make the code available to anyone who needs it.

    Revoke the Bayh-Dole act first and then we can talk about no funds for GPLd software.

  • by GoNINzo (32266) <GoNINzo@nOspAm.yahoo.com> on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:03AM (#183453) Homepage Journal
    Just remind him what Denis Leary said...

    No cure for cancer.

    --
    Gonzo Granzeau

  • Actually, what Ballmer is saying (in an inflamatory, and overly-broad way) is that the US government should not modify or contract modifications to GPL (or other GPL-like) licensed work, and I agree.

    Woah up there, folks. First off, I write a fair amount of GPLed code, so don't assume that I'm an anti-GPL person.

    I do, however feel that the government should not be allowed copyright to its works (which has always been upheld in this country).

    Since the basis of the GPL is the control that copyright law allows, I don't see how the government can be allowed to distribute their modifications to GPLed programs any more than they could distribute their modified version of Harry Potter. In the Harry Potter case, they are given no permission to do so. In the GPL case, they are, but only under a provision of law that does not extend to them.

    Now, why is Ballmer WRONG? Because there's plenty of BSD-licensed and public domain code out there. BSD is clearly and open source license, and honestly I think Ballmer has chosen Linux as a target because he doesn't want BSD in his sights. There are several reasons for this: 1) he knows that the BSD camp is much more conservative and it would be harder to make wild half-truth claims about them 2) he is not technical and the word on the street (let's not fight over this, kids) is that BSD is faster and more stable than Linux; he likely believes this, right or wrong 3) if the debate is between Linux and Microsoft in government roles, BSD may never gain much more ground than it has now in that sector, and given the licensing, this is in MS' favor.

    The only counter-argument I see to the government/GPL case is if the government can contract to an external company to make changes to copyrighted works, and have the original copyright hold. I'm not even remotely a lawyer, so someone else will have to speak to that one.

    Either way, it's a cheap shot to just jam this into an interview as a sound-bite, and while I'm not losing any respect for him over it, that's only because there was none there to begin with.


    --
    Aaron Sherman (ajs@ajs.com)
  • by MadAhab (40080) <{slasher} {at} {ahab.com}> on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:12AM (#183482) Homepage Journal
    Hey, there are meatheads in the world who don't know when to shut up and then there are those who don't know when to shut up and really make asses out of themselves, only they don't stop and it gets kind of funny actually, and they sense this, and go further, but now it's just clowning and pretty soon it won't be funny any more so they stop.

    Well, I guess except for the funny part, maybe Ballmer is a John Madden.

    The only thing we have a problem with is when the government funds open-source work. Government funding should be for work that is available to everybody. Open source is not available to commercial companies.

    Uh... Riiiight. So, er, that's why we need to fund closed source work that's not available to anyone? Or else, you mean that you support government funding for the BSDs?

    Seriously, the two-install thing is going to be a MAJOR hassle for a lot of folks. Sure rules out XP for scientists in Antarctica. "What do you mean you don't have a phone? Can't you go over to your friend's house?" As well as for students, people testing it, etc, etc, etc. Nice way to shoot yourselves in the foot, losers. I can't wait to answer the calls from relatives looking for computer support. "You can't? Twice? That's because they FUCKED you! What can you do? Throw it out."

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.

  • by throx (42621) on Friday June 01, 2001 @10:37AM (#183494) Homepage
    Win95, Win98, WinNT, Win2000, WinXP are forks? I don't think so. This is pretty much the same as saying:

    FreeBSD 3.0, FreeBSD 4.0, Linux 2.0, Linux 2.2 and Linux 2.4 are forks. If you are going to respond to him then you could at least get YOUR facts straight!!

    Win9x has never been a fork on the NT project. While the FreeBSD analogy above is a little out, Win9x is really a version of Win3.0 with a whole stack of 32 bit junk tacked in wherever possible. You'd be much closer calling Warp and NT forks of each other, or even OpenVMS and NT forks. Hell, even Linux+Wine is probably closer to NT/2000/XP than Win9x is!!!
  • by wiredog (43288) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:10AM (#183496) Journal
    . The way the license[gpl] is written, if you use any open-source software, you have to make the rest of your software open source

    That's pretty much what Mundie said. Seems that that's the Company Line. And I think RMS, O'Reilly, et. al. addressed that pretty well.

  • by EasyTarget (43516) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:10AM (#183498) Journal
    Clever set up. First he complains that people don't respect Intellectual property enough and need reminding. Then he whinges about his (totally false) lie that open source makes all other software open source due to Intellectual property issues.

    Nice example of telling a bare faced lie for spin purposes though, pretending that he does not understand there are -different- types of open source licence. Almost makes me believe he realli -is- stupid.

    EZ
  • by Dr.Evil (47264) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:26AM (#183501) Homepage

    You have some BSD code in some of your products and gladly adhere to the BSD license, don't you?

    <flamebait>

    Of course they do - there's no work involved in adhering to the BSD license. It's a perfect fit for a company whose attitude toward "intellectual property" (a misbegotten term if ever there was one) is roughly, "What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine."

    </flamebait>

    Seriously, though, Microsoft knows that BSD-licensed stuff will just keep on keepin' on (ripe for their picking) for a while, since it's still under the radar for the most part. It's GPL-licensed software (which they can't co-opt without giving their users the code) that they fear. Of course, the GPL is about freedom for the user, which is what Microsoft really fears above all.

    Standard BSD disclaimer: I don't have any problem with the BSD license. Even the FSF defines it as a Free Software license. If an author wants to release their code into the wild and has no qualms regarding what happens after that, more power to that author. I just wanted to point out that Microsoft doesn't care about user freedoms, only their own freedom to use and subsequently lock up any code they see, and the BSD license plays right into that, for better or for worse. Now flame away...

  • Haven't we learned not to feed trolls? I hope that the Free Software luminaries give this guy the response he deserves this time: none at all.

    By stooping to his level, we're playing their game. It is obvious to me, at least, that when you play Microsoft's game, they win. Instead, the good team should be pondering a way to force Microsoft to play a different PR game--probably one that starts off with "we don't think his ideas merit a response. He is clearly another empty mind pursuing another of Microsoft's intense PR campaigns that sound newsworthy but don't move forward the debate over intellectual property in this country one iota. We'll let our software do the talking."
  • by bnenning (58349) on Friday June 01, 2001 @10:31AM (#183514)
    Now, President Junior does the same thing, saying that his "Lets Give Lots Of Money To The Rich Guys" tax policy as "favoring the poor."

    This is the big lie that liberals keep repeating, desperately hoping to convince taxpayers that the government can spend their money better than they can. First, the government cannot "give" tax cuts to anyone, since it's not their money to begin with. All they can do is take less. Second, the tax reductions are greater on a percentage basis for the poor. For example, the 15% tax bracket drops to 10%, a 33% cut; while the top 39.6% bracket drops to 35%, only a 12% cut. Yes, the rich will still save more in absolute dollars, but that's because they pay so much more.

    The crux of your argument is correct, that Microsoft is blatantly lying about the GPL and clueless reporters are not calling them on it. But introducing partisan political commentary only confuses the issue and annoys half of the readers. (Yes, I know I've annoyed the other half now...)

  • In my opinion, the real cancer is intellectual property. It's a cancer to society because it forces people to compete against one another for selfish motives as opposed to bringing them together. It forces us to constantly reinvent the wheel, so as to get around someone else's IP. It's an immense waste and duplication of effort.

    In my opinion, the only property worthy of the name is tangible property. If you can't lock it up or build a fence around it, it does not belong to you. Once you release something like music, ideas, software, novels, etc..., you cannot prevent people from copying it and using it for their own benefit. An example is Brazil where patented aids drugs are copied to save lives. Tens of millions of copies of Windows are being used free around the world. There is not a damn thing MS can do about it.

    The wonderful promise of GPL is not that it's a cancer for IP owners, it is the cure for the cancer that is intellectual property. Software and other ideas should be a way to increase the value of tangible property.

    The wealth of the earth is the earth and what it contains. The only way to ensure that people get a fair share is to make sure that everybody is guaranteed possesion of a piece of the earth, an estate if you please. Then it should be up to us to increase the value of our piece as we see fit, either through cooperation with others or not. This would bring freedom and eliminate exploitation. Any other system is slavery.
  • While I am usually not one to reply to a message that appears to be a troll, I do need to point out something. Your entire argument is that if a company cannot make money on a product, then that product is useless.

    No, really, you actually did say this. To quote you:


    a company isn't going to make money off open-sourced code. it loses all the money it spent paying developers and testers. therefore viral open-source code is useless


    But many things are quite useful, even though no one can make money off of them. This part of your argument is false. Open source code is quite useful to a large number of people. It just isn't useful to Microsoft, or other companies that would like to use the hard work of open source programmers for the companies' good.

    I also found the last part of your argument interesting:


    therefore viral open-source code is useless and does nothing to improve software in most professionally developed applications.


    Is one of the stated goals of open source software to improve professionally developed applications? Should that be the goal of open source projects?

    I think what we have here, and what your argument points out, is two differences in philosophy. Apparently, you believe that the purpose of software development is to make money. A lot of people share your view. But a lot of people don't.

  • ...that corporations have some type of right to modify someone else's software and then sell the results. I still don't understand the argument. "Well, I want to be able to use your code, but then sell what I've created." Why not just start from scratch?
  • by Noryungi (70322) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:10AM (#183529) Homepage Journal

    What is the Chicago Sun Times Web site running?

    Here is the answer:

    HTTP/1.1 200 OK
    Server: Netscape-Enterprise/3.6
    Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2001 17:05:09 GMT
    Content-type: text/html
    Connection: close

    Seems like Mr Ballmer & M$ still have a little work to do... =)
  • by rkent (73434) <rkent@post.harv[ ].edu ['ard' in gap]> on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:22AM (#183534)
    Hm. "Cancer" is really just the word for a syndrome in which a patch of mutant cells gets bigger and bigger and more bloated until it chokes off an otherwise healthy system.

    Replace "cells" with "code" and this metaphor seems much more applicable to Windows than Linux. Especially considering that no one's quite sure HOW cancer works on the inside, just that it keeps getting bigger and badder.

    ---

  • by mikej (84735) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:14AM (#183544) Homepage
    Q: Do you view Linux and the open-source movement as a threat to Microsoft?

    A: Yeah. It's good competition. It will force us to be innovative. It will force us to justify the prices and value that we deliver. And that's only healthy. The only thing we have a problem with is when the government funds open-source work. Government funding should be for work that is available to everybody. Open source is not available to commercial companies. The way the license is written, if you use any open-source software, you have to make the rest of your software open source. If the government wants to put something in the public domain, it should. Linux is not in the public domain. Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches. That's the way that the license works.


    I gave him the benefit of the doubt as well, and was rewarded with this :) He's saying that any company that uses open source software must give away all of their software, which is true only as long as "use" means "incorporate source code from". He's implying that anybody using linux to run a print server or somesuch is going to be forced to give away every line of code they've ever written. It's very well worded, extremely effective, and completely dishonest.

  • by MillMan (85400) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:18AM (#183548)
    A: Yeah. It's good competition. It will force us to be innovative. It will force us to justify the prices and value that we deliver. And that's only healthy. The only thing we have a problem with is when the government funds open-source work. Government funding should be for work that is available to everybody. Open source is not available to commercial companies. The way the license is written, if you use any open-source software, you have to make the rest of your software open source. If the government wants to put something in the public domain, it should. Linux is not in the public domain. Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches. That's the way that the license works.

    It doesn't look that way. He's referring to how the GPL works, so in Microsoft's view he's correct. If you think open source is a good thing, however, his argument doesn't really hold.

    I don't know where this "government funded research" thing comes from...maybe unix back in the 60's? That's an incredibly arrogant statement coming from an executive at a big corporation anyway. Look at how much nearly free research companies get by giving a few bucks (relatively speaking) to Universities. The public doesn't see any of the return on that money....is that fair?

    You know, normally I don't get worked up by whatever crap Microsoft exec's are currently spewing out, but this really bugs me from a philosophical standpoint. For me they are really starting to represent everything that can go wrong with capitalism in the information age.

    Maybe they really ARE that terrified of linux, even on the desktop where it isn't currently much of a threat. No one to sue, buy, or threaten. Thats tough for a modern day corporation to deal with.
  • by ChodaBoy (97144) on Friday June 01, 2001 @05:05PM (#183573) Homepage
    I guess that makes Windows HIV. After all, it leaves your PC vulnerable to infection

    ChodaBoy
  • by rograndom (112079) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:10AM (#183593) Homepage

    It's hard to find a computer that doesn't run a Microsoft product, particularly in Chicago. Microsoft's Chicago-based Midwest district office, which covers Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin...

    Then, a little later the interviewer uses this statement in a question:

    in Chicago we do seem to have an inferiority complex about our place in the tech world. Rankings frequently put us toward the bottom among major cities in terms of our tech presence.

    draw your own conclusions. :-)


    --
    andy j.
  • I think Microsoft is setting the stage for a real grandiose event.

    M$ has been on the warpath about the GPL lately (and spreading Open Source == GPL fallacies), and this is to fool the public. Why would the public care, you ask?

    They don't, and M$ knows this. (And really, is living proof that people don't read licenses, or M$ would go belly-up real quick, but I digress) What I think M$ is doing is harping about the GPL, because sooner or later, the GPL is gonna have to be tested in court. Guess who is going to be doing the testing? M$. They will try to show that the GPL is counterproductive to the software industry, and its mere existance is stifling the software industry's ability to make comparable products at a competitive price. They will argue that Open Source software stunts thier IP rights via "infection". This is not the first time that M$ lackeys have referred to Open Source/Free Software/Linux as some type of incurable virus that permeates anything it comes in contact with.

    Though, M$ has made a mistake which may prove to be quite crippling to them in a few years. They are fighting on _WAY_ too many fronts. They have *XP, they have .NET, they have xBox, and they are fighting Open Source. Any battle fought wrongly by M$ stands to bite them in the ass later. Its possible that an action they take on one front will affect them negatively in another. The consumer will be affected as well. Its getting to the point where even Joe Sixpack is becoming aware that they have alternatives to having a BSOD everyday. (I thought W2K was supposed to cure that... it doesn't on my box at least).

    M$ is fighting the GPL, because it offers a strong alternative to the masses. The general public can't quite grasp what GPL (or other Open Source) software means to them, because its still a bitch to get an alternative OS installed, much less use it for daily work.

    In the case of Linux anyway, we've made good progress in this department, but any Linux distro I've used (RH, Debian, Mandrake) are all still a pain in the ass to install and get set up. Don't expect the general public to really warm up to anything besides M$ until you can simplify things. Apple is very aware of this, and thats how come OS X exists. The problem with Open Source software is that we don't fucking need 15 different text editors. I think development energies could be focused in more productive ways. Don't get me wrong, its nice that there is so much choice, but it might be a better idea to concentrate on the OS that that software will run on first instead.

    From the consumer prospective, Windows came first, and beget windows software later. In the case of Linux, it looks more like the software is a higher priority than the OS. Thats cool, but dammit, Linux needs a SIMPLE installer, and a stable standard GUI (or two). Tell me why it is that Mandrake 8.0 (or RH 7.x)_CRASHES_ for no apparent reason! Not just X, but the whole damned system. Maybe its the 2.4.x kernel. RH 6.1 was a helluva lot more stable for me.

    Don't get me wrong, its just that I consider myself to be good with computers, and even I have a helluva time. Do you expect Joe Sixpack to put up with it? No sir. Meanwhile, M$ is going to try to destroy the GPL/Open Source so that the day Joe Sixpack can say "Hey, this Open Source stuff really works well" never comes.

    Its the same tired old game M$ has been playing for years to ensure thier survival. Its the same principle they used when bundling IE with windows to kill off Netscape. You can tell M$ tried hard, because IE works WAY better for me than any version of Netscape/Mozilla does, sorry.

    It won't work that way this time around though. Open Source software is the only thing that can provide healthy competition for M$, and if they destroy it, I doubt any other corporation is gonna be able to compete with the demons in Redmond.
  • But he's right. If a vast majority of people expect to be able to play CDs on their computers, that should become an operating system function. But a bundled player will never be able to do everything, and people who want more out of their CD players will get a better one. This is like saying 'no motherboard should have sound and video built into it, because that will put Creative Labs and nVidia out of business. Nobody will buy a Live 5.1 or Geforce 3 if there's a ESS solo and ATI Rage Pro 2x built onto the mobo.' That is, of course, bullshit.
  • by cjpez (148000) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:03AM (#183657) Homepage Journal
    "The only thing we have a problem with is when the government funds open-source work. Government funding should be for work that is available to everybody."
    Ur?
  • by sdprenzl (149571) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:22AM (#183659) Homepage
    When I worked at MS ('94-'95) I was told in a bathroom in a whisper not to drink the free house coffee. Otherwise I'd wind up like Steve Ballmer: a babbling, brain damaged moron! Nasty stuff!!
  • by connorbd (151811) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:43AM (#183662) Homepage
    (smack) Ballmer is deliberately blurring the lines, just like Craig Mundie did. He knows this; he's trying to convince the rest of the world that there is no difference.

    I have to say, though. I find it a bit hard to believe anyone could be taking tactics like this seriously -- MS is starting to sound like a bunch of whiners. If he was talking about another company like this on the record, I strongly suspect Microsoft's stock would be in trouble.

    /Brian
  • by Spoing (152917) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:21AM (#183663) Homepage
    Morbid fascination with the bizzare. That's what these articles are, nothing more. It's a waste of time to pay much attention to what the talking heads at Microsoft say.

    If I'm interested at all, it's in what they do, not what they say.

  • by MrBogus (173033) on Friday June 01, 2001 @11:10AM (#183690)
    Actually, IBM is either the or one of the worlds largest software companies. They may sell hardware on paper, but maintenance software and server software are a huge revenue stream for them. (For example, if you want a text editor on the AS/400, it's extra $$!)

    So, Linux is a caculated risk for IBM. If Linux cannibalizes AIX or OS/400 sales, it's not good and they'll drop Linux like a hot rock. However, IBM feels that certain Linux hardware bundles (x86 servers and S/390 clusters) can help them steal market from Sun in particular.
  • by MrBogus (173033) on Friday June 01, 2001 @02:33PM (#183691)
    That doesn't matter in the long run because we aren't fighting in the right places.

    So why was Microsoft fighting in the right places when they grassrooted the OS/2 people in the forums many moons ago? My answer is that they weren't, but the subsequent reaction certainly didn't help OS/2, both market-wise and product-wise (because it created an ideological group of advocates surrounding a product that was sorta lame. OS/2 always had more abusers than users.)

    Now, shock trooping developers against IBM certainly wasn't hard. Microsoft happily spams developers with free copies of everything, while if you wanted anything out of IBM in the old days, you had to have your account number ready, your FRU number ready, and a pliers to ready to pull some teeth with. It was all such a fantasic clusterfuck on IBM's part that it's almost hard to give MS any credit at all.

    But that's not to say that MS doesn't partake in some very nasty tactics. Work at a large MS site, and somewhere you'll find a guy who Microsoft pays to sit there and whisper anything from standard marketing crap to outright lies in people's ears. Show up at any MS conference or anywhere supposedly full of 'freindlies' and you'll here the same kind of stuff.

    The key thing to realize here is that MS is playing right out of the Slashdot playbook. How do you attack a product that's free? Attack it ideologically. Where do you get ideological arguments? Slashdot has the same argument over "Free Software" every day. Just twist and release as marketing, and Boom! The impotant little flamebots on Slashdot suddenly sound like the OS/2 Windows-hating loony fringe from so many years ago. People listen to the flamebots and it becomes a self-reinforcing trenchwar loop where the product never changes direction towards broader acceptance.
  • by Jetifi (188285) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:45AM (#183708) Homepage

    The parent of this was moderated as a troll, and while his opinion is probably not the same as the majority here, it does require a better response than "troll", even if it was a troll. So:

    If you accept the incorrect usage of "open source" to mean "GPL'd code" then this statement makes perfect sense.

    I presume that what Ballmer meant to say was "The only thing we have a problem with is when the government funds GPL'd work. Government funding should be for work that is available to everybody."

    This is an understandable viewpoint. GPL'd code is not accessable to everybody. It is only accessable to developers who are willing to release their code under the GPL license which excludes large portions of the community. Government-funded GPL code is inaccessable to the Apache Foundation, it's inaccessable to the OpenBSD developers, and it's inaccessable to any commercial developers who are working on closed-source products.

    There is one major example or government funding GPL'ed code: NSA Secure Linux. And this is probably what MS is scared of. They can make a sales pitch about how MS is secure, but any PHB can point and say 'this is done by the guys at the NSA! We can trust them, right?'*

    To which MS has no answer. My opinion: the US government, and for that matter any other .gov, should want to work on GPLed/OSS projects because they want control over their own infrastructure, something that is denied to them if they run closed-source, restricted source, and licensed binaries on their own computers.

    A government might also want to work on GPLes/OSS software because it is a public service. The work they have the capability to do could do more to estabilish ubiquitous computing for the masses than Microsoft has ever done. By removing one of the elements of the so-called "digital divide", i.e. price (both in licensing costs and the cost of hard-ware required to run Microsoft software), the government does more for it's citizenry.

    *Ignoring the NSA-paranoia - don't forget there are two sides to the NSA, the code-making and code-breaking depts

  • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:09AM (#183720) Homepage
    My favorite quote has got to be:
    The only thing we have a problem with is when the government funds open-source work. Government funding should be for work that is available to everybody.

    Ballmer justifies this belief by saying that "open source software is not available to companies." The hell it isn't! They can look at the source (and even use it!) just like anyone else can! They just can't take GPL'd code and add their own stuff to it without sharing those additions.

    What a bunch of bull.

  • by affenmann (195152) on Friday June 01, 2001 @11:34AM (#183727)
    Since when has cancer been better than the original ???
    Maybe we should tell our doctors to leave the cancer and cut away the rest instead :-)

  • by Mtgman (195502) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:29AM (#183730)
    Both parties are honorable. I remember reading a story not long ago in Brill's Content(even though it's an old story) about Microsoft's PR group [brillscontent.com] and the tricks they pulled on IBM when they were their "main threat" because of OS/2. Here is a little excerpt.

    The evangelists were charged with proselytizing as many independent software developers as possible to write for Windows, not OS/2. IBM had a corporate policy at the time that barred any IBM employee from disparaging a competitor's product. Microsoft had no such restriction and exploited the situation masterfully. "We took maximum advantage of it," says Rick Segal, who led a 15-member evangelical team. As his group lobbied the developers and the forums, IBM had no idea of the strategic importance of these groups, he says, and the behemoth was vulnerable to the evangelists' attacks. "The issue that mattered most to me was how to make sure OS/2 never got a foothold to take over our operating system, our franchise."


    Today it's the judges, technology managers, and legislators that Microsoft is focusing on. Linux geeks don't "get it" when it comes to legal, or managerial matters. This is a war, make no mistake about it. Microsoft, even if they're smart enough to not out and out say "Linux is a cancer" they most certainly think it and will attempt to persuade others to think that as well. When one person fights and the other just stands there taking punches, well, the person taking punches may be more "honorable" but that doesn't mean they'll win. Like it or not, Ghandi died without accomplishing his goals(even though he did win India's independence from Britan, his real goal was religious tolerance between Hindus and Muslims).

    Now, weather or not we should stoop to that level in our own retaliations is another issue. But we can't afford to give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt in everything they do. They have proven, time and again, that they will use any methods they feel will be effective. Up until now they have been very effective, let's not forget that.

    Steven
  • by Phillip2 (203612) on Friday June 01, 2001 @10:27AM (#183749)
    The interview is interesting, because Ballmer seems to think that all GPL software is generated in the US, which is of course far from the truth. The simple fact is that a lot of GPL software is not produced in the US by US government sponsered research.

    Now given the nature of the GPL people working for the US government have little choice when they work on the GPL software than to write more of it. It seems clear to me that M$ is going to push hard to prevent university staff from using or contributing to the GPL code base. I think that if they succeeded they would essentially cripple large parts of the computer using research sector in the US.

    Of course in the end both US and other research sectors have benefitted from the GPL. It makes collaboration a lot easier, because the GPL is irrevocable. You know that collaborators can not later withdraw data or source code on you. In the days of NDA's this is a welcome relief.

    There is also a fascinating manifesto [wustl.edu] from one researcher explaining why he choose to release his software under GPL. Well worth reading.

    Phil

  • Ballmer: Ever hear of Stallman? de Icaza? TORVALDS?

    Dread Pirate Roberts: yes.

    Ballmer: Morons.

    Bryguy
    "I've been slowly building up an immunity to proprietary software for the past 5 years"
  • by TOTKChief (210168) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:08AM (#183765) Homepage

    It's really interesting to watch how Microsoft higher-ups use words. It's almost as much as watching politicians of any stripe, but specifically American politicians in the two major parties, snipe at each other with shadings of words.

    Examplia gratis:

    The inclusion of Internet Explorer with Windows has been absolutely great ... for innovation in the software industry.

    Note: The ellipsis used is directly from the original article; I'm curious to know what was left out!

    If I could completely ignore the ellipsis--though I can't--you'd get to thinking that "innovation in the software industry" == "whatever improves M$FT's bottom line". The comments about competition are similar--they like competition that they can beat the snot out of, not that pushes a better product.

    The use of the cancer thing is interesting...M$FT is shifting its attack from the license to the OS, while noting that the OS is licensed in a matter that makes it "a cancer". It's a carefully crafted use of hyperbole, and it'll hit home.

    But I think it'll end up being a boomerang strike. I continue to expect back-end systems to merge to modern *nix systems, including Linux and the *BSD's. I think that's good from an overall push-the-ends-of-the-free/open-movements, and probably good for business in the long run, too.

  • by TOTKChief (210168) on Friday June 01, 2001 @10:32AM (#183766) Homepage
    If you accept the incorrect usage of "open source" to mean "GPL'd code" then this statement makes perfect sense.

    Yeah, here I think he's using the "dominance" of the GPL to stand for all open/free licensing. It's clever: remember, most folks can only stand two things in opposition. Why do you think there are just two major US political parties, eh? We like to think in terms of two exclusive choices, so Microsoft is taking the most extreme example to their cause--the GPL--and making it the standard-bearer. From their viewpoint, it's startingly good spin.

    I presume that what Ballmer meant to say was "The only thing we have a problem with is when the government funds GPL'd work. Government funding should be for work that is available to everybody."
    This is an understandable viewpoint. GPL'd code is not accessable to everybody. It is only accessable to developers who are willing to release their code under the GPL license which excludes large portions of the community. Government-funded GPL code is inaccessable to the Apache Foundation, it's inaccessable to the OpenBSD developers, and it's inaccessable to any commercial developers who are working on closed-source products.

    Wait now...that depends on how you term accessibility. If you're thinking from a programmatic angle--"I want to run GNUCash to balance my checkbook"--then the software is accessible to anyone that wants to use GNUCash on a standalone basis. [Barring weird system calls, etc.] But you're right--in a developer's standpoint, it is inaccessible for those who don't choose to develop under the GPL.

    The difference here in my mind is this: most folks aren't developers and won't care about the licensing. [Look at how people break M$FT licenses now.] Those who are--and they'll be the loudest--will yell. Most of the rest of us [I'm more user than coder] won't much care.

    If tax dollars are funding a project, then the results of that development should be available to everyone and not just people who use one particular license. This is the rationale behind the laws which prevent the government from enjoying a copyright on the data it produces.

    On a standalone basis, it is: you can enjoy the benefits of whatever the code does no matter what license you use. Now, of course, if you want to build upon that code, that's where it gets hairy.

    I'm close to this on a personal level, as a friend of mine does work for the Army, some of which is patentable. He, not the government, would own the patent. It's interesting how it works.

    Government code should be public domain, not placed under a restrictive license like the GPL.

    This is a legitimate argument; my only concern is that M$FT will use the GPL/BSD argument [again, I couch in terms of two exclusive choices] to muddy the waters--"people on the inside of the 'Open Source' movement even say the GPL is bad!" I don't want to not have the discussion; I'd rather have it after M$FT loses some market share.

  • by sdo1 (213835) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:53AM (#183770) Journal
    While we're all here preaching to the choir and bitching about what Mr. Ballmer said, how about instead directing some of that energy towards CORRECTING him? I'm sure the Sun-Times would be happy to print a rebuttal. Failure for us to do anything except talk to eachother about it means that Microsoft has won this battle and that those who are not in-the-know will take the statements made in the interview as facts.

    http://www.suntimes.com/geninfo/feedback.html and
    http://www.suntimes.com/geninfo/email.html have contact info. I couldn't find the contact info for the interviewer or info on snail-mail (always the BEST way to make your comments), but perhaps someone with access to the physical paper rather than the website can post those.

    -S
  • by brlewis (214632) on Friday June 01, 2001 @10:16AM (#183771) Homepage

    Although I agree with mikethegeek's general sentiments, there are several points that need correction:

    1. You need to directly address the question about use of the word "free." It's worth pointing out that "free speech" is used to describe rights that are not completely unrestricted, e.g. slander, libel, yelling "fire" in a crowded theatre. The phrase "free market" is used to describe markets that aren't 100% unrestricted.
    2. The GPL does not prevent a closed-source company in general from using your code for their own purpose, or even changing it without sharing their changes from you. They are only required to give the source to those to whom they give binaries. GPLed code can't effectively be made part of a closed-source software distribution, but it can be used for other purposes.
    3. It was looseness in the Kerberos spec, not any particular code, that enabled MSFT to "embrace and extend" the protocol.
    4. The BSD license does not give you absolute freedom to do with the code what you wish. You are not allowed to remove the copyright notice, for example. An extremist definition of "free" does not fit the BSD license any more than it fits the GPL. However, "free" as English speakers generally use it fits both licenses.
    5. The GPL does not force licensees to act in a generally ethical manner. It merely prevents them from restricting certain freedoms of downstream licensees. There are plenty of other ways to be unethical.
  • Steve Ballmer doesn't know his epidemiology. In fact, Microsoft is a cancer. Any program which includes Microsoft componants suddenly starts growing out of control until it becomes bloated and unusable.

    In all fairness however, I can see how he might make the mistake of thinking the the GPL is Visus-like (not cancer-like however) in that it does attach itself to the IP it touches, but with properly written code, you can include functionality based on GPL'd source, as a plugin to your main application. This preserves the treditional IP state of your product, if you're so short sighted as to choose not to GPL your entire product.

    --CTH
  • Something just hit me with all this talk of IP...MS and free software are fighting the same IP battle it two totally different ways. Stick with me here for a second...

    Say I create a nifty library. Something everybody needs. Something everybody wants. But I worked very hard on it, and I want compensation for my hard work. The compensation I'm asking for: the source to any software using my library must be made available in the same fashion my source code is available. If that's asking too much, write your own library. You don't have to compinsate me until you finish the project.

    Now say Microsoft creates a nifty librars. Something everybody wants. Something everybody needs. But some of their staff worked very hard on it, and the company wants compensations. So they wrap it into developer kits, MFC's, etc. Now that they've been compinsated, you can start work on your project.

    Linux isn't the cancer. No no, it's the users who don't really understand what Linux, the GPL, FSF, monoplies, profits, IP, etc. are.
  • by dvNull (235982) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:06AM (#183799) Homepage
    No it isnt ..

    If Linux is cancer then Microsoft is Herpes ..


    Just a reminder to all :
  • by mikethegeek (257172) <.MAPSmoc.mfimcwON. .ta. .rialb.> on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:42AM (#183822) Homepage
    "The challenge is that he's right. There's nothing "free" about the GPL if you're a developer that doesn't have the same views as RMS and the rest of the free software movement.
    I'd love to see someone on slashdot actually prove his statement wrong."

    Why? Do you believe that Microsoft, et all, have some RIGHT to code that they had no part in writing? And have no obligation to allow the original authors the same right to MS code?

    The GPL does NOTHING to prevent Microsoft or any other closed-source company from developing anything they want. For that matter, MS if completely free to reverse-engineer and release their own *NIX variant if they so wish.

    It's MICROSOFT here who is playing the role of a whiner wanting more and more "handouts", not the GPL backers.

    What the GPL DOES do is prevent a closed source company from taking your code, using it for their own purpose, then not allowing YOU to benefit from what they added to your code. It says "here, use what you want, the only catch is you have to give the next guy the same freedom YOU had".

    Microsoft fears the GPL because it prevents them from taking code, and extending it in proprietary ways so as to break compatibility, then deny even the original author access to these changes. Had Keberos been GPL instead of BSD, MS coudld never have pulled their "embrace and extend" rape of what was a universal open standard when they used it in `Doze 2000.

    True, the BSD license gives you absolute freedom to do with the code as you wish, in any way you wish. In and ideal world, the BSD license would be the best one. However, the GPL is more pragmatic and practical, it FORCES people to behave in an ethical manner, whereas the BSD license relies on morals and ethics of each and every user.

    Microsoft fears the GPL because they cannot use GPL code without being assimilated by it. The GPL is merely a sling that is the weapon that allows David to defeat Goliath.
  • by modernz (308899) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:07AM (#183853)
    Linux is a cancer that is eating away at M$ profit margins.
  • by CKW (409971) on Friday June 01, 2001 @10:49AM (#183904) Journal

    "Public domain" makes it available only to the first generation of people that touch it. It allows corporations to turn it into "Proprietary Software", which in effect means that the from that point on, the software is no longer "freely available to all".

    I want publicly funded software to remain publicly available and free to all. I don't want Microsoft or any other corporate entity to swallow it and never let it see the light of day again.

    I place the continuing free availability of the code that the Government funds to be a higher priority than to giving corporations a free ride.

    I directly contest Balkmer's and Microsoft's viewpoint on what is "free" and "available to all". My *all* does not include corporations. Corporations are not "the people", nor do they represent "the public". They are constructs, by some of the people, for some people. They do not represent the public interest. They are merely useful in certain circumstances to provide services for the people.

    I do not believe that we, the people, our government, should be obliged to give anything for free to corporations.

    Suck it up Microsoft.

  • by jhill (446614) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:00AM (#183925) Homepage
    To Microsoft: This word you use...Innovative...I do not think it means what you think it means.
  • by $hotgun (449276) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:51AM (#183933)
    The answer to bad speech is lots of good speech.

    MS was able to dis OS/2 with a smear campaign which IBM chose to ignore. MS is trying to do the same to Linux. We will not ignore them. Every time they lie or mislead, we will cry to truth loudly from every roof top.

    MS: The GPL is bad for business.

    Linux: Tell them who's business it is bad for!!

    MS: The GPL is a cancer that will eat up your IP.

    Linux: Only if you distribute a derivative. You are free to take and use a GPL program for your own purposes!!

    MS: Linux is not a stable, supported solution for corporate infrastructure.

    Linux: Tell that to IBM, Burlington Mills, The Home Depot and others who are using it as a stable, supported solution for corporate infrastructure!!

    MS: Linux will fork.

    Linux: Win95, Win98, WinNT, Win2000, WinXP...

    MS: Linux will require retraining staff.

    Linux: Win95, Win98, WinNT, Win2000, WinXP...

    Anytime we let them get away with a misleading statement or outright lie, we suffer and our society suffers. If they tell the truth, so be it. But do not let lies stand unchallenged.

    That said, our best response is to point out the hypocrisy of thier statements. That is something that resonates. Linux

  • by cnelzie (451984) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:21AM (#183943) Homepage
    Oh no, that means my entire computer has become Open Source! Since I dual-boot doesn't that mean that my installed Windows 98 SE has become open source as well?

    I mean I have had Linux "touch" some Windows files... Hmm... Does anyone know how to perform Chemotherapy on a hard drive?

    ------------
  • by dnaumov (453672) on Friday June 01, 2001 @09:25AM (#183948)
    Hello. I am a Linux newbie, I've only been using Linux (RH 7.1) for the past few weeks, but that's not the case. The case is, Microsoft FORCED me to begin studying Linux. Yes, you heard that right. I've never taken Linux seriously in the past, but I do. I am sick of these shitty PR stunts and other BS that Microsoft/RIAA/MPAA are pulling out. Some people I've talked to say that they would like to have something other then Windows, but they're stuck with it since everybody else uses it. Well, I have the guts to shout it out loud: FUCK YOU Microsoft ! I am not going to let Mr. Bill Gates dictate me how to use my computer, what hardware to buy and what software to use as well as what music to listen to (MP3 rippers working in XP ? Hah!). I DO respect uncle Billy for what he has archieved as a person, he put his company to a great height, but that doesn't mean I am OK with that. Hell NO ! I am running dual-boot between Win2000 and Linux right now and I am spending less and less time in Win2000 every day. Every day I spend learning Linux, I learn something new about the way computers work and how software is developed. I am now taking part in the Open Source movement by beta-testing Mozilla and submitting it's bugs. It's a "little thing", but I am kinda proud of that :) As for this article/interview...I find it funny. Linux ? A Cancer on Intellectual Property and Innovation ? ROTFLMAO ! It was MS which admitted to using OpenBSD code in Windows XP and not vise-versa... Oh, wait...Microsoft OS'es are close-sourced right ? So you can't put their network code to some actually good use. If somebody is this cancer of the computer industry, it's Microsoft and the Open Source movement is the cure. "Free Software = BAD, Money = GOOD", gotta love that, eh ?
    "The only thing we have a problem with is when the government funds open-source work."
    So the goverment should give their money to the already-rich MS instead of innovative, but poor programmers ?
    Open source is not available to commercial companies.
    Does that person have ANY clue ? Oh wait, that's FUD !
    The way the license is written, if you use any open-source software, you have to make the rest of your software open source.
    That guy has to check the LGPL license.
    Linux is not in the public domain.
    Need I say more ? The scary thing is, it seems that the big decision makers seem to be actually believing this complete bullshit. Anyways, my fingers hurt. /me OFF.

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