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Date:      Fri, 18 May 2001 09:28:33 -0700
From:      "Ted Mittelstaedt" <>
To:        "Greg Lehey" <>
Cc:        "Don Wilde" <>, "Anders Nordby" <>, <freebsd-advocacy@FreeBSD.ORG>, <>
Subject:   RE: [dn-core] Re: Perens' "Free Software Leaders Stand Together"
Message-ID:  <000001c0dfb7$949e85c0$>
In-Reply-To: <>

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: Greg Lehey []
>Sent: Friday, May 18, 2001 2:31 AM
>To: Ted Mittelstaedt
>Cc: Don Wilde; Anders Nordby; freebsd-advocacy@FreeBSD.ORG;
>Subject: Re: [dn-core] Re: Perens' "Free Software Leaders Stand
>> As well he should be.  Remember, Bruce is the person who explicitly
>> recommended _against_ developers using the BSD license, when he
>> originally copyrighted the term "Open Source".  It wasn't until the
>> Regents of the University of California explictly stated that the
>> UCB copyright didn't need to be displayed that Bruce couldn't find
>> any more excuses to recommend against the BSD license, and changed
>> the recommendations to be more neutral.
>What's wrong in that?  I'm a little surprised how much the advertising
>clause worried the GPL faction, but then I'm very surprised how much
>the GPL worries the BSD faction.

I frankly see little evidence that the GPL worries the BSD faction.  Could
you substantiate that statement?

>> and because FreeBSD uses the term "Free" in it's name thus causing
>> problems for their little doublespeak game of attempting to equate
>> GPL and Open Source)
>I don't think they're that naive.

They aren't - but the people they are trying to sway (end users, media,
and a lot of developers) are.

>> Basically, what has happened is that Bruce and his friends (the
>> signatories on the list of that article are a who's who of them)
>> have literally made millions of dollars out of in effect convincing
>> a bunch of developers to GPL their code, then those Open Source
>> people have set themselves up in the only point in the GPL code
>> distributon scheme (the nexus points) where it's possible to make a
>> lot of money.
>You're putting it as if they were a united front.  They are not.  The
>three I know (rms, esr and Tim O'Reilly) all have very different
>viewpoints on the issue.  rms and esr have both repeatedly stated:
>a: The BSD license is good ("but the GPL is better").
>b: (esr): "Free Software" is a term which just doesn't fly.
>   (rms): "Open Source" is a betrayal of everything free software
>   stands for.

They are rapidly becoming more and more united as a) Microsoft becomes
more active against the GPL specifically, rather than Open Source Software
in general, and b) as the Linux distributors buy each other out.

>> VA Linux, Red Hat, and all of those distributors, all of their
>> business models are the same - at one end they suck in GPL code and
>> at the other end spit out finished UNIX-like distributions, and make
>> money doing it.
>They're not making money doing it.  They're *trying* to make money
>doing it.

All of High Tech got caught in the US stock market crash that was IMHO
triggered by the excesses of the dot-com's, and the dumb-assed investors
that fed them.

Yes, it's true a lot of them aren't making money now - but that was expected
when they went IPO - why do you think that a company goes IPO anyway, they
do it to get investment money because they aren't making a profit at the
current time, and because their business plan dictates that they will
make money.

Besides that, all of those people _personally_ made a lot of money by
stock right after IPO.  How do you think that Eric Raymond survives anyway
when he has no job (other than being GPL playboy at various GPL conferences

If the stock market hadn't crashed then nobody would care that those
aren't currently making money, because everyone would still understand that
are young firms that are building up market, and that Linux must reach
mass before they can start making money.  Since the stock market did crash,
all of the High-Tech companies that had this business model ( for
example) are
being held to the standard of they must be profitable, way before they were
expected to be by their founders.

>> For their business models to continue to work, they must continue to
>> convince an ever-larger number of Open Source developers to write
>> GPL code.

Because of several reasons, first as you know there's a shortage of software
developers and as a result software companies really listen closely to what
their developers are telling them, and if the developers are into OSS then
the companies may get into it as well.  Secondly, it puts more and more code
projects into OSS and then there's more chance that an existing OSS project
will match what a commercial software firm wants to do, thus they may be
more induced to use it.  FInally, it helps create more interest in Linux
among end users, thus they demand support for it, putting even more
pressure on commercial software companies to use it.

>> Interjet, and the embedded stuff that Wind River is doing, because
>> those projects untimately spew code back into the BSD distribution.
>My understanding from Wind River is that their interest in FreeBSD is
>of a different nature.  I'm not at liberty to say how, but this
>statement doesn't match.

Well, then it will have to stand until Wind River decides to inform the
public as to what their intentions towards BSD are.

>> So, it's kind of a "friend of my enemy is my enemy" What I see in
>> the future, is I see Microsoft porting MS Office to MacOS X - which
>> is a hell of a lot closer to BSD then it is to Linux.  I also see
>> that as Microsoft continues to build the case against GPL and
>> propgandize against it, that they are increasingly going to be
>> holding up BSD as the "right" way to do Open Source.  No wonder that
>> the Linux GPL people are drawing the line in the sand now between
>> BSD and GPL.  They see the future and they know that ultimately, the
>> GPL is just as "un-free" as a closed source license like
>> Microsoft's.  Increasingly, their aims and goals are going to be
>> different than ours.
>Certainly if we take your viewpoint.  You've made a lot of claims
>there, but I don't see much substantiation, and the viewpoints are
>very different from what I've experienced first-hand.  I work with
>some leading Linux people, and while there are many things I don't
>like about Linux, I can't see anything like what you're claiming here.

I judge the Linux crowd by the public statements they make and the public
things that they do.  There's a history of GPL people publically putting
down the BSD license, and then something like this "Free Software Leaders
Stand Together" comes along and they make no effort to publically reach out
to the BSD people.

Greg, I don't doubt that you are privately getting a lot of positive strokes
from various GPL people.  But, it doesen't make a damn bit of difference if
they aren't translating this into actions in the marketing arena.  What I
see publically is a lot of posturing from GPL that puts GPL above everything
else.  I don't see the same posturing from BSD.  The evidence is that
GPL people fear the idea of BSD, but there's no evidence that the BSD people
fear the idea of GPL.

Ultimately, all GPL and BSD are is written English words that express an
idea.  They _aren't_ code.  What matters is how people that deal with those
ideas react.  And, so far I've seen a lot more times that the BSD people
the moral high road when it comes to differing with GPL and the road that
GPL takes.

Incidents like Bruce ignoring BSD in his response are just more and more
in the coffin of GPL<->BSD friendship.  And, it's not the BSD people that
doing the nailing.  While I can deal with the GPL as an ideal in and of
I think the BSD folks are getting irritated with the actions of the folks
around it.

Ted Mittelstaedt            
Author of:          The FreeBSD Corporate Networker's Guide
Book website:

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