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GNU is Not Unix

Stallman Goes to India 586

Posted by michael
from the exploring-outsourcing-next-version-of-gcc dept.
SureshD writes "The Hindu is reporting on a 40 minute long meeting between Richard Stallman and the Indian President - Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. After the interview, RMS said that the President was 'receptive' to his views that development of software should be seen as a political and social issue and not just from the technological point of view. Interestingly, the article mentions that the President had prepared for the meeting by downloading and reading Stallman's biography (Free as in Freedom) from the Internet."
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Stallman Goes to India

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  • Braindrain (Score:5, Insightful)

    by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Monday February 02, 2004 @04:37AM (#8156758)
    Possibly, with GPL, India may be turning the braindrain the other way round. You often need somewhat mature code to play with in the beginning of your career, and, after all, there are hundreds of sourceforge/freshmeat projects which need to be better maintained.
  • They all do that. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Indio_do_Xingu (675644) on Monday February 02, 2004 @04:40AM (#8156767) Homepage
    "Interestingly, the article mentions that the President had prepared for the meeting by downloading and reading Stallman's biography (Free as in Freedom) from the Internet."

    HOw is that interesting? In case you don't know, every politician does that or is prepared by advisors before plunging into any meeting. Or is that interesting because he usually does not do that? Maybe he needs someone like Condoleezza Rice to chew and spit the stuff to him, so he can better use his time....
  • Power Shift (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cybermint (255744) * on Monday February 02, 2004 @04:46AM (#8156787)
    India's tech is booming. Japan has all the cutting edge electronics and technologies. China is destined to be the next super power. Korea is trying to get nukes. The USA has mad cow disease, a puppet for a president, a huge debt, a slow economy and we're spending billions more on rebuilding a country that we destroyed while looking for weapons that didn't exist. Times are changing. Maybe considering India as a future isn't such a bad idea.
  • by romit_icarus (613431) on Monday February 02, 2004 @04:47AM (#8156788) Journal
    Gates has been marketing to India for years. His visits to India are very high profile.

    Gates' view towards india is simple: Get the 15% of developers to use MS, and that'll provide the basis for MS.

    Interestingly, unlike in the rest of asia, software piracy is never an issue with MS although software piracy is rampant...

  • Freedom? Beer? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by miknight (642270) on Monday February 02, 2004 @04:49AM (#8156794) Journal
    "which in keeping with the FOSS movement guru's philosophy is available free of cost."

    I wasn't aware that this was part of the philosophy.
  • by inode_buddha (576844) on Monday February 02, 2004 @04:56AM (#8156821) Journal
    "Get the 15% of developers to use MS, and that'll provide the basis for MS."

    Instead of giving India a basis for Indian software without strings attatched...

  • by Jakosa (667951) on Monday February 02, 2004 @05:09AM (#8156861)
    The sheer mentioning of India or China seems to make the average american slashdot tech rave like a white trash untermensh, that has resently been analprobed by the UFO.. What is it with you guys? Try to control your paranoia.
  • by Serious Simon (701084) on Monday February 02, 2004 @05:13AM (#8156868)
    Maybe, but apparently even Microsoft recognizes that OSS is a feasible alternative for India. Otherwise they wouldn't have been forced to drastically lower the price of their offering.
  • Pay the man (Score:4, Insightful)

    by olman (127310) on Monday February 02, 2004 @05:18AM (#8156884)
    I'm sure Indian programmers are just falling all over themselves to produce software for no pay. Ditto for Indian software companies. Now if you mean Free as in "Open", you might be talking business..
  • Re:Synopsis (Score:2, Insightful)

    by provocative (725595) on Monday February 02, 2004 @05:24AM (#8156896)
    Stallman's programmers come from all around the world and are completely open Which could be a serious problem. Realize that the India tech sector is just about beginning to grow. At this point, although 'free as in beer' matters a lot, 'free as in freedom' is really not an issue. For a new and upcoming company, it's a decision between using stable and good (enough) software coming from a stable company who would be able to provide good and timely support, as opposed to some software created by a group of people all around the world, where the only way of getting any support is by posting on a newsgroup and hoping somebody replies. Money is definitely an issue, which is why a lot of small companies use OSS, however, for big companies, stability and accountability are far more important issues. And unless OSS can convince the companies that it has both of those attributes, I doubt it will be able to make serious inroads anywhere.
  • by civad (569109) on Monday February 02, 2004 @05:40AM (#8156927)

    How is that interesting? In case you don't know, every politician does that or is prepared by advisors before plunging into any meeting. Or is that interesting because he usually does not do that? Maybe he needs someone like Condoleezza Rice to chew and spit the stuff to him, so he can better use his time....


    How many times has Mr. Stallman met Mr. Bush? How much time did the latter spend to prepare for the meeting? What is the outlook of the US Govt. towards Open Source movement?

    I am assuming you are in teh US, since you seem to be so ignorant about the importance of what the President of India did.
  • by DF5JT (589002) <slashdot@bloatware.de> on Monday February 02, 2004 @06:16AM (#8156994) Homepage
    " Maybe, but apparently even Microsoft recognizes that OSS is a feasible alternative for India. Otherwise they wouldn't have been forced to drastically lower the price of their offering."

    The good thing about it is the fact that Microsoft will have to change its attitude in questions of interoperability and support of open standards. In that sense, the pressure of OSS software really will change the way proprietory software enterprises will address their customers' needs.
  • by jonathan_ingram (30440) on Monday February 02, 2004 @06:31AM (#8157029) Homepage
    You shouldn't have called him flamebait -- he's essentially correct. In the US system, the President is a limited-term dictator, with immense powers (particularly when the two parlimentary systems under him, which were designed to act as checks and balances, are as ineffectual and supine as they have been in recent years).

    Given that benevolent dictatorship is one of the best ways to run a country in the short term (in the medium term it has a depressing tendancy to turn into either a non-benevolent dictatorship or military rule), the US system is both surprisingly effective and surprisingly stable.
  • by deitel99 (533532) on Monday February 02, 2004 @06:36AM (#8157046)
    What can you say or do in a forty minute long meeting? Why on earth would such a thing be news worthy, and get a reportage in any "Times", or on Slashdot? What astonishingly desperate personality culting is Slashdot pursuing today?

    And how many minutes have you had with the Indian president? Considering how busy the man is (as any president will be) I think it is an important sign of how well OSS is doing now. This is important news for a site which claims "News for Nerds. Stuff that matters".

    The fact that he even downloaded Stallmans biography ("Free as in Freedom" - which sounds more like a political manifesto to me) means that he devoted even more time to his guest. This is a sign of how serious the Indian President takes OSS.
  • Re:Jesuit Alumni (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jkrise (535370) on Monday February 02, 2004 @06:37AM (#8157049) Journal
    To say that Dr. Kalam's thinking is influenced by his college days is too simplistic. The Indian landscape is home to multiple religions, faiths and beliefs, much like the GNU/Linux world where several strnds and flavours exist.

    His belonging to one particular strand at one particular point in time does not have any bearing to his thought-process at all. Most Indian political leaders have often advocated tolerance and respect to diversity, and believe that true freedom implies shunning mono-cultures.

    In short, moving from a particular brand of proprietary code (Microsoft) to a particular model of Linux (say GNU) isn't good for any country let alone India. Dr.Kalam seems to have understood this fact more clearly than most other heads - be they political, religious or ideological.

    -
  • Re:Full text (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gmania (687303) on Monday February 02, 2004 @06:56AM (#8157085)
    Here, here !!

    I couldn't agree more, I like free as in freedom as much as the next guy, and like to see this freedom extended all the way down do respecting other peoples copyright:
    Copyright (C) 2004, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu
    I allways wondered why slashdot allowed other peoples copyright to be so blatantly abused.
  • by pommiekiwifruit (570416) on Monday February 02, 2004 @07:04AM (#8157099)
    USA isn't the only country with a tradition of a heriditery head of state who retains power. India had Nehru/Indira/Ranjiv/Sonja. Pakistan had the Bhuttos.

    Perhaps they should both go down the european route of letting the "first family" have a ceremonial role (the Bushes and the Kennedys could share the duties in the USA) and letting commoners be elected to the executive jobs.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 02, 2004 @07:12AM (#8157119)

    To say that the President did this as a bargaining strategy with Microsoft is an insult.

    You are attacking a straw-man argument. The person you are responding to didn't say that. He said that the president is probably a true believer, but the government as a whole are using that fact to drive down MS prices.

  • Re:Outsource (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BiggerIsBetter (682164) on Monday February 02, 2004 @07:14AM (#8157124)
    Yes, but if the software is free you can't really save anything by outsourcing devlopment to India, can you?

    OTOH, you *can* sell your consulting services to foreign governments and build long term relationships with future economic powerhouses.

  • by Duderstadt (549997) on Monday February 02, 2004 @07:16AM (#8157129)
    It has been a very long while since the last time I visited Slashdot. Now I remember why.

    I'm not going to refute this post point by point, if only because anyone able to read a newspaper should be able to do so easily.

    I shall, however, make the following suggestions to anyone who actually believes a word of the parent post:

    1. Get the hell away from Slashdot and go get some news.

    2. After that, go study some economics. In particular, you may wish to bone up on the fall of the Japanese economy.

    3. Get updated on current political issues - and no, I'm not talking about what RMS is doing. You may well discover that outsourcing to India has become something of a political hot button, and that the US government at all levels is working on killing the practice.

    4. Refresh yourself on the history of communism (pay attention to how many regimes are intact vs. how many are no longer with us.)

    5. Discover China. They're not ascending, they're imploding.

    Basically, come out of whatever idiot stupor you currently find yourself in and come sample a tasty dish I like to call reality.

  • by nathanh (1214) on Monday February 02, 2004 @07:19AM (#8157147) Homepage
    For some reason, Richard Stallman is demonized in the US as some eccentric loony. Yet the rest of the world actually holds him in very high regard. I have had the fortune of listening to him speak on the issue of software patents and not only was he articulate but he was able to appeal to a large audience made up of people from all walks of life.

    He is fairly eccentric. I've met him twice and he's... uhh... he could do with a visit from the Queer Eye TV show.

    However I suspect the real reason that he's considered a "loony" in the USA is because he doesn't bow to the almighty dollar. I'm not trolling. Americans seem overly concerned about money. Notice that one of the first things an American asks after learning about free software is "how will programmers get paid?" No thoughts about how it can help less fortunate countries, or less fortunate districts within America. No thoughts about how sharing software would lead to advancements in software because programmers will be freed up to work on new and exciting things. No thoughts about advancing science or technology for the benefit of mankind. Not even thinking that maybe these hobbyists write free software because they want to! An American's primary cause for concern is "where's the personal financial gain?"

    I think this is because USA punishes people without money. If you don't make lots of money you live on the streets. There is no socialism. No "safety net" if you lose your job. It's shameful for an American to be without money. Success is tied with being rich. Poor people are "losers". That makes it hard for an American to get past the "no cost" aspect of Free Software and start to understand the freedom aspects.

    I'm not saying money is unimportant. But RMS sees a balance between money and sharing. Between proprietary interests and the public interest. He tries to communicate that software is not just about technology and "innovation". It's also about political and social improvement. America rewards financial success, not social improvement, and I think that's really sad.

    NB: And I'm not saying that Americans only think about money, or that no other culture has similar disdain for slackabouts, or that no other culture pursues financial success as a means of evaluating worth. I'm just saying that it's more exaggerated in Americans. That's just my ignorant opinion (I've never lived in America) but I suspect my ignorant opinion is not unique and not far off the mark.

  • Re:Restrictive? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by AndrewHowe (60826) on Monday February 02, 2004 @07:37AM (#8157188)
    Yes, it is restrictive. "Share and share alike" is all very well. "Use a single GPL'd function and have to give away my entire source base" is another matter.
    In addition, it's not a zero sum game, so if I "steal" some of your GPL'd code, you still have it, so you have no grounds to bitch about me making it proprietary.
    The GPL has its good points, but to say it's not restrictive is to ignore reality.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 02, 2004 @07:43AM (#8157213)
    Or perhaps it's because biographies are written in the third person because someone else (in this case, Sam Williams) writes them.

    Were you thinking of autobiographies?
  • Re:Restrictive? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pe1rxq (141710) on Monday February 02, 2004 @07:48AM (#8157237) Homepage Journal
    Suppose you are developping a big application and are using a single GPL'd function or a single line of GPL'd code....
    In that case you have the following possibilities:

    - You are just plain lazy. You have the resources to write or have written a large chunk of code and could have written that last line/function as well.
    Having to obey the license is just the price for your lazieness.

    - The GPL'd code is just brilliant and it would have cost you a lot to replicate it. In that case that line/function ceases to be just a line or just a function but becomes an important part of your program. Having to obey the license is the price for saving you a lot of work.

    There simply is no excuse for using someone elses work and not respecting the license they chose.
    If you don't like the license don't use the code.

    Jeroen
  • Re:Freedom? Beer? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kfg (145172) on Monday February 02, 2004 @07:50AM (#8157247)
    If the source code is freely distributable than the software will become available for free sooner or. . . well, just sooner actually.

    The free trade in software is an innate consequence of the GPL and Stallman knows this damned well and the basic functionality that the GPL strives for is that people should be allowed to simply hand a copy of software to a friend freely and without fear of legal consequence.

    So yes, the free availability is perfectly in keeping with Stallman's philosophy.

    KFG
  • by no longer myself (741142) on Monday February 02, 2004 @08:23AM (#8157356)
    Why does Stallman hate america?

    I don't think he does. Corperatists have long enjoyed exploiting Americans since early on, but for good or ill, unions and labor laws have made it hard to compete in the current climate. Naturally, they outsource to nations that don't have these kinds of laws.

    On the one hand, the corperatist has his eye on cheap labor. It's one of the principle foundations of capitalism, and technically, there's nothing wrong with that. On the other hand, they lobby relentlessly with law makers to ensure that new-comers will be at a significant disadvantage by making the entry-level cost of competing too high for even the brightest would-be entreprenuer.

    Of course, what does this have to do with "free" software? Well, it's obvious that many corperations have a vested interest in keeping individuals from competing at their level, and the fact of the matter is, you can create very professional and profitable systems using the tools found under the GPL.

    Proprietary software is something that corperatists are comfortable with. They can control it through tiered licensing schemes, and even control how a person may use the software, and to what extent. This allows them to control the growth of any would-be competition, and even prune it if necessary. The average "Merkin" is none-the-wiser of their schemes, and it all gets wrapped up in nice, neat, legal redtape.

    Enter The "Free as in Freedom" software.
    Corperatists can't control it. Therefore it is difficult to impossible to control their competition. So they whine to the legislators they need more patent laws, copyright laws, and generally speaking- more of every law out there to keep those pesky would-be entreprenuers out of the "Free Market".

    So if you love freedom, and you want to be free to pursue your goals in life, what is the best way to stop them? Go outside the US. Make sure that the rest of the world has these tools and that they become standard issue before their governments become poluted with corperatistic protectionist laws. With other nations having such an advantage, the American people might just wake up and smell the bullshit that these exploitationists have been shoveling. Some of them might actually send off a letter to their congress saying, "If we live in such a FREE country, why can't we have these tools as well? Hell, even those damned commies have better software than we do!"

    And so the repeal of corperatist legislation may begin, and a FREE MARKET can take its place where people may buy and sell goods without the overbearing corperation run beauracracy that we have today.

    And don't you damned corperatists go calling me a libral. It's not communism or socialism. It's called a Free Market and Free (as in Freedom) software will give rise to newer and better Free Markets. Corperations controlling the legislative body of government better deserve the moniker of communism since currently they control production, labor, and distribution, and, largely, the social and cultural life and thought of the people. In spite of all their hand-waving about being American capitalists, they are the very essence of un-American communisism.

    If we are ever to truly be free, we must stand as individuals and stop licking the hand of our corperate puppetmasters.

    To control or be controlled. Which is it?

    OK, I had the guts to take this "Karma Swan-Dive". Let's hope it's not in vain.

  • Re:Restrictive? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by abe ferlman (205607) <bgtrio AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday February 02, 2004 @08:36AM (#8157428) Homepage Journal
    Um, insightful? wake up modkids.

    Yes, it is restrictive. "Share and share alike" is all very well. "Use a single GPL'd function and have to give away my entire source base" is another matter.

    In capitalism, the seller sets the price and the buyer decides whether it's worth it. What are you, some kind of kooky communist? Don't use the GPL'd stuff if you don't want to pay for it, don't use Visual Studio if you don't want to pay for it.

    In addition, it's not a zero sum game, so if I "steal" some of your GPL'd code, you still have it, so you have no grounds to bitch about me making it proprietary.

    If you make it proprietary, I don't have the legal right to it anymore; nor does anyone else. That's the sense of "having it" that's important. Idea monopolies artificially raise the price of information.

    The GPL has its good points, but to say it's not restrictive is to ignore reality.

    You warty troll. The GPL has but one restriction- don't use GPL'd software in the creation of proprietary software. This restriction has special network effects: it reduces the freedom of any one party from reducing the freedom of everyone else. The GPL only restricts restrictions, that's a net gain for "unrestricted" software.
  • Re:Restrictive? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 02, 2004 @09:36AM (#8157691)
    It's definitely a possibility, but people often seem to charge ridiculous amounts.

    Most software isn't free as in beer. You have a choice of how to pay for it. Will you pay in money or in source code? That's the proprietary / GPL difference.

    it's a bit annoying considering everyone else is getting it for nothing.

    They aren't. They're paying in source code. You can pay in source code too, if you like. Or you can just not use the GPL library.

    I really don't understand your problem. You seem to think that because you can read the source code of a GPL library, and download it and link it to your program without paying a penny, that you should somehow have the "right" to do whatever you like with it.

    Here's a clue: the GPL is not taking away your freedom to use that library - it is giving you the freedom to use that library, if you agree not to take that freedom away from anyone else.

    Maybe you should be thanking the authors for making it possible for those who can't afford huge license fees to write software, instead of cursing them for preventing you from charging huge license fees for their software.
  • Re:Restrictive? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by abe ferlman (205607) <bgtrio AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday February 02, 2004 @09:46AM (#8157767) Homepage Journal
    Me? A communist? We're in a discussion about RMS, and I'm siding slightly against the GPL, and I'm a communist? Interesting.

    This is a common misconception. Look, just because someone dresses like a hippy doesn't mean they're a communist. Stallman is the ultimate capitalist, he thinks the market should set the price of ideas without the government creating monopolies in that space. You tell me what part of Stallman's philosophy (rather than his appearance) is anything but capitalist and we'll have a discussion.

    Eh? What? You still have your original code. If I make changes to that code

    That's not what you originally said, you said if you steal the code, not if you make modifications to it.

    I'm more than happy to send you a patch. As for the rest of my code, you never had any right to that, and you still don't, so you haven't lost anything.

    I've lost the right to write the same code, especially if you've patented your enhancements. But even if you're just copyrighting your code, you can probably draw a free software developer into a legal battle she can not afford even if she's right.

    Furthermore, your proprietary innovation reduces the incentive to create free enhancements. If authors do have the right to control their works (i.e., if idea monopolies are legitimate), then you should respect my terms. I personally do not want to see someone profit off of my free work without giving back equally.

    Imagine I bequeath a free library to the public with the condition that it can never sell books, only lend them. You build a bookstore annex on my public library and make deals with the book industry so that you'll get enough copies of all the new releases to sell, but the library can't buy enough to meet lending demand. You've done something very ugly. You've unfairly (although not illegally) capitalized on the goodwill that the bookstore created by making it harder for the free book community to thrive.

    You may not agree with me that this would be a bad thing. But if I build that library with my own labor you ought to respect my wishes if you expect me to respect yours.

    People who say the GPL is restrictive seem to imagine that there's only one person in the world, and it's always themselves. "The GPL unfairly restricts my ability to profit off of your work." Waaah.

  • by Newtron (144757) on Monday February 02, 2004 @09:57AM (#8157835)
    He is not the first muslim president of India. He is the second, I can't remember the name of the first one though.

  • by Haeleth (414428) on Monday February 02, 2004 @09:58AM (#8157849) Journal
    In other words, you are paid less for doing as good or better a job than one of your European or American counterparts.

    Who is better off? The man who agrees to work for $5/hr, or the man who expects $20/hr and can't find a job?
  • by caudron (466327) on Monday February 02, 2004 @10:01AM (#8157876) Homepage
    It's shameful for an American to be without money. Success is tied with being rich. Poor people are "losers".

    I get what you are saying, but as an American, I feel the need to clarify your point.

    Americans have a strong drive to succeed. We have a drive to compete with ourselves. It's the basis of what we call the "American Dream" (to become strong and independent). As a society, we embrace the ideal of constant self-improvement. We strive for one goal: Self-Sustenance.

    It's not that we look down on people who are poor. Almost every American you ask will agree that a person isn't less of a person for being poorer than another. No, our real issue is with people who cannot live in a reasonably (note I did not say fully) self-sustaining manner. We do look down on people who /need/ handouts and who otherwise appear capable. We, as a society, don't begrudge people who cannot be self-sustaining, like children, some elderly, or the sick, as evidenced by our social programs to help those people. But our other social programs, like unemployment checks, welfare, and the such are time-limited.

    We firmly stand by our conviction that if you can become more self-sustaining, then you should.

    So you see, it isn't money which drives us. Money is just one way of many to gain a measure of self-sustenance. It's the desire to minimize our external dependencies. You can be dirt-poor in America, but grow your own food and manage your own needs and we will only admire you. Likewise, you can be filthy-rich in America but constantly seek government grants and the such ans we will despise you. This has it's own ancillary set of problems, but they are different from those that we would have if money were our obsession.

    I'm not making a judgement here as to whether that's better or worse than what you claimed, but rather just clarifying for you the real pathos of the American Dream.
  • MOD PARENT UP (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Christopher Whitt (74084) <cwhitt AT ieee DOT org> on Monday February 02, 2004 @10:16AM (#8158016) Homepage
    For those who read at thresholds above 0 and missed the AC reply, here's an editorialized summary.

    quoeth the OP: "I'm not saying sharing stuff is bad, I just want it to be fair" and "'Use a single GPL'd function and have to give away my entire source base' is another matter."

    The AC in response hits the nail on the head: Here's a clue: the GPL is not taking away your freedom to use that library - it is giving you the freedom to use that library, if you agree not to take that freedom away from anyone else.

    The single GPL function or library - that the OP wants to include in the large, hugely valuable pre-existing codebase - is copyrighted. It belongs to somebody else, until it passes into the public domain.

    Other people use it for a price: they pay by agreeing to share any further modifications of it. So GPL software is rarely free as in beer. But that's not the point.

    Again the OP "In addition, it's not a zero sum game, so if I 'steal' some of your GPL'd code, you still have it, so you have no grounds to bitch about me making it proprietary." ... but you can take the code, add some additional functionality that is highly desired, keep the new source code a secret and profit from it. Perhaps even profit at the expense of the original authors, whose hard work you relied upon to enable your profitable enterprise. Why is preventing that wrong?

    Again the parent AC's response is right on target: "You seem to think that because you can read the source code of a GPL library, and download it and link it to your program without paying a penny, that you should somehow have the "right" to do whatever you like with it."
  • by 4of12 (97621) on Monday February 02, 2004 @10:30AM (#8158146) Homepage Journal

    Otherwise they wouldn't have been forced to drastically lower the price of their offering.

    That Microsoft is even able to change the price of their product so easily is a consequence of their monopoly control of the market.

    Recall Thailand's Linux laptop project motivated MS to cut prices there. Needless to say, those kinds of prices were not available to buyers of Windows and Office in North America, Europe and Japan.

    Probably one of the most overlooked aspects Microsoft's so-called Trusted Computing initiative (most people in this forum are afraid The Man will spy on them, erase their MP3's and make their old Word documents unreadable unless they keep current their Office subscription payments) is that by targeting contracts with defined individuals and machines, the commodity nature of its products is lessened (the software CD becomes non-transferrable)and it becomes even more feasible to discriminate in pricing than it is now.

    Expect this development.

    Having essentially conquered the market for desktop software Microsoft has to look at other alternatives for growth, which is what their shareholders demand.

    But it is hard for Microsoft to grow now! Entering new markets is difficult for them because their actions will be scrutinized for unfair leveraging of their monopoly position. The remaining alternative is to adjust pricing to maximize revenue; get from each user what they can.

    Thus, they might well charge a few rupees for their OS in India and hundreds of dollars for the same product in a large corporate environment in the United States.

    With TCPA Windows, there will be no danger of the Indian licensee re-selling their copy of Windows to someone in the United States. Not only will such resale be "illegal", but it will become technically much less feasible than it is now.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 02, 2004 @10:54AM (#8158395)
    There are no working free software business models, period.

    This is true. Red Hat, IBM and Cheap Bytes all appear to be making money off of free software in different ways but it's just an elaborate prank that a group of billionaires is playing on the world.
  • by bfg9000 (726447) on Monday February 02, 2004 @11:24AM (#8158726) Homepage Journal
    "Kalam, Stallman discuss open source software"....

    I'm pretty sure Stallman was talking about Free Software rather than Open Source Software....

  • Re:What nonsense (Score:3, Insightful)

    by happyfrogcow (708359) on Monday February 02, 2004 @12:09PM (#8159161)
    The USA does not have a "heriditary" head of state.
    The US president is elected through democratic elections, although there are some who argue that the process is too much vested in special interests, the rich, and is fraught with corruption.


    Oh come on now. Sure it's not *really* hereditary, but think about this. How many public offices were won by people with the last name of Kennedy who had no relation to JFK at all? I'd wager dozens. I believe this is even historically documented, but I forget the specific example. Hopefully I remember the important parts well enough... A black man with the last name of Kennedy, or maybe he even changed his name to Kennedy, ran for election (mayor of some city?) and won, without even making a public appearance, solely on his last name being Kennedy. This was some time ago, I think, maybe in the 70s. What shock the people had when they realized the elected a black man.

    If current GW Bush had any other name than George Bush, and any other parents, he would have had slim chances being where he is today.
  • by MountainBoiler (629847) on Monday February 02, 2004 @01:29PM (#8159896)
    and pagans try to bind to paganism
    and Muslims try to bind to Islam
    and Buddists try to bind to Budha
    and atheists try to bind to atheism

    Notice a trend?

  • Re:Tell him... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 02, 2004 @01:40PM (#8160001)
    Your job, huh? How interesting..

    Yeah, I can see it now - Angel #1 in heaven,
    circa 20th century, talking to Angel #2: "Hey,
    gotta help that Kosgrove mom to concieve,
    there's a job with his name on it waiting. Oh,
    and have we lined up the Peterson kid yet? I'll
    put his name down for that Boston slot
    otherwise..."

    Yeah. Right. Only you. And all those very special
    Americans with "their" jobs. A century of killing
    people for the sake of capitalism, and this is
    what emerges.

    Arrogance and entitlement.

  • Our OSS Guru? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Flicker (4495) on Monday February 02, 2004 @02:00PM (#8160190)
    The president of India probably gets to meet a lot of nutty religious leaders.
  • Re:Restrictive? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Peaker (72084) <gnupeaker@yaho[ ]om ['o.c' in gap]> on Monday February 02, 2004 @02:50PM (#8160810) Homepage
    Most people have replied with answers of the Open Source idealogy.

    Open Source is a coherent and constistent philosophy of software development. Open Source holds to the goal of creating good software, with code sharing being the best mean towards that goal.

    Since this article is about Richard Stallman, it is probably also appropriate to respond with the answer of the Free Software idealogy. Free Software is also a coherent and consistent philosophy - not of software development, but of freedom of information in general. Unlike Open Source, Free Software holds to the goal of individual/society Freedom, with good software resulting merely as a byproduct. In other words, Free Software means that even in case properiatly-licensed software offers a significant practical benefit to the alternate piece of Free Software, one should use the Free Software alternative - in order to not sign himself to secrecy against all of his peers.

    Under the philosophy of Free Software, its simply and utterly unacceptable for someone to sign an NDA, or to restrict the changing or sharing of software. Forcing people to keep secrets from others is considered a crime against everyone in society.

    It is therefore easy to envision how the GPL was created. The GPL is not about less restrictions, but about attempting to minimize the ability of others to restrict information sharing or impose secrecy.
  • by Mr. Piddle (567882) on Monday February 02, 2004 @04:46PM (#8162438)
    ...and you believe that everyone who doesn't believe as you believe will be tortured forever...

    I cannot accept that any denomination of Christianity that actually believes this as truly Christian. The arrogance of such a belief is a sin in itself. Man doesn't judge man, God does.
  • Re:Restrictive? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AndrewHowe (60826) on Monday February 02, 2004 @09:01PM (#8165181)
    I want to create good software, too. You don't have a monopoly on that.

    It's the case, though, that in some fields, secrecy now means a living wage. I don't claim to be a guru, but I think my knowledge is worth something. I have no particular desire to go back to cutting curtain material, packing melons in boxes or any of that shit. I am valuable, and I provide my services to other people in exchange for money, which buys me food, clothing, housing, and the rest. Perhaps, just perhaps, I don't deserve any of that and my destiny is to starve while sleeping in a shop window. I understand that market forces may behave unpredictably, but while someone wants to pay me for something I am good at and enjoy, I will continue to milk it. I am not alone in this.

    Freedom is a laudable goal. Most people, it has to be said, when given freedom, squander it. You have yet to realise that my freedom is as important as yours, and that Dr. Stallman's idea of freedom comes with strings attached.

    I think that if all information secrecy were outlawed, well, only outlaws would have secrets... You fail to take account of human behaviour.

"It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so." -- Artemus Ward aka Charles Farrar Brown

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