Ooook....

Story: Novell-Microsoft Deal Necessary, CEO SaysTotal Replies: 42
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techiem2

Aug 09, 2007
7:34 AM EDT
So just WHY are these deals necessary? MS is the one that refuses to interoperate with the rest of the world. So instead of pushing them to do things right we sign deals to do it their way? I'm confused...
salparadise

Aug 09, 2007
8:29 AM EDT
Brought to you by the "well he would say that wouldn't he" Dept'.

It is lamentable that some have signed this way, it sends all the wrong messages. It acknowledges MS as the defacto standard to which all others must look. It says MS own just about everything and we don't want to get sued (the average person won't get the finer points, just the headline "Linux company signs agreement with Microsoft" and so it equates all software/rights to MS). It says what we have isn't better, just different and that is the worst of all. Microsoft knew all this when they started this. This is perception management from the people who successfully sold not one, but four, unstable, insecure operating systems and are still looked to as the final word in computing by most.
tuxchick

Aug 09, 2007
8:33 AM EDT
ditto both of what you said.

cjcox

Aug 09, 2007
8:54 AM EDT
Ever push an elephant?

Yes.. the Linux community has grown. It's much larger than it was 10 years ago. So... now that we have 5 people pushing against the elephant, why doesn't it move?

Community is great and will always be the ultimate factor for why people leave Microsoft (IMHO). Right now, for whatever reason, there are mixed messages coming out of the FOSS community. There are still people fighting for FOSS based on TCO... but folks, Microsoft can SHOW you TCO figures that say the opposite thing (doesn't matter if the data is true of false.. it's merely something Microsoft is able to do for which the FOSS community DOES NOT have an effective response).

Companies like Red Hat (can you say large masses of cash on hand) are focused primarily on their own world, which is pretty much a world without Microsoft (to which may people will shout "Hooray!"). However, I don't recall the creation of Linux being about isolation... if that were true, then we're no different than Microsoft. No... Linux (meaning everything it runs) was created to solve problems. By putting forth a good product (Linux and free applications), you give people a choice. Not a mandate, but a choice.

Many have chosen to use Linux. I'd say 99.99% of LInux enterprise users have some other OS in their midst as well though. And I'd estimate that Linux has a great deal to do with bridging the gaps in their heterogeneous OS environments. Does Linux dominate the space? Probably not, but without Linux, "the space" doesn't work well.

#1 reason why Microsoft rules the world, people buy Microsoft products. Change comes slowly. A good portion of our corporate IT dept runs on Linux now.... but it took some time. There are still areas where Microsoft is entrenched and changing that may well NOT be worth it. Over time if just a portion of marketshare were to change hands, you'd see some changes at Microsoft. I think Microsoft sees some of the writing on the wall (though they still see themselves as the ONLY elephant)... and thus even Microsoft is trying to develop a community of free software developers (of course, since they ARE Microsoft, right now they are looking for how to exploit their community for their own commercial gains... but still...).

Another reason, perhaps a close #2, for why Microsoft rules the world is that people don't want to think anymore. People like just sitting back and enjoying the ride (so to speak). Because of this we have a very immature technical community surrounding Microsoft products. So much so that they have become a liability and security risk moving forward. While the idea of "not learning" appeals to many (just talk to a grade school student about the fact that a new school year is starting), in the end, it does great damage to the society as a whole.

Shoot... how many people are now cheating their way through school. I estimate it's about 50%. Yes... I believe 50% of those coming out with college degrees got those degrees by cheating. Sadly, the very technology that they do not understand is being used by them to facilitate the cheating process.

We... I'm on my soap box and getting WAY off topic... so I'll stop. We live in a world with more than one OS and methodology/ideology. Some of the latter can have dangerous implications down the road. Linux helps keep OS's working together and perhaps helps to educate people at the same time... which is a good thing. With Linux, patience is a virtue. Let's put away our weapons of mass destruction and our isolationism... let's keep showing a better way instead and let that be the motivation for change.
dinotrac

Aug 09, 2007
8:57 AM EDT
>MS is the one that refuses to interoperate with the rest of the world.

So what?

If you are Novell -- and it is Novell we are talking about -- you have a large and declining business that overwhelms your Linux business. Interoperability is important to that business, and the fact that Microsoft is in the wrong doesn't help your bottom line in the least.

It's nice to stand on principle, but which principle? The principle that says it's ok to be driven out of business so long as you don't have to bend for the ill mannered, but, unfortunately, big and nasty, gorilla?

Abe

Aug 09, 2007
10:16 AM EDT
Quoting:you have a large and declining business that overwhelms your Linux business. Interoperability is important to that business,


Are you saying that Novell's Linux business is hopeless without making a some sort of an agreement with and on MS terms to survive?

dumper4311

Aug 09, 2007
10:21 AM EDT
@cjcox: Thank you for a little common sense. It's refreshing to see that the Linux world isn't completely filled with FOSS zealots. Don't get me wrong, I prefer the OSS method and philosophy, and push it every chance I get. But to be successful, we have to work with the rest of the software world. I believe the GPL v3 is detrimental to that effort in some ways, and in those ways looks more like Microsofts ELUA than an open software license. Maybe the much vaunted 4 freedoms should be prefaced as follows; "it's free software as long as we approve of how you use it." The GPLv3 approach seems a bit hypocritical to me.

In any case, I agree with you, the infighting and extremist tactics don't help our cause.
tuxchick

Aug 09, 2007
10:39 AM EDT
dumper4311, can you give some specific reasons why you think GPL3 is detrimental? Whenever I hear "don't get me wrong" and "zealots" and "hypocritical" all in the same short comment from someone who professes to be an OSS advocate, a little red warning flag goes up in my mind. What does "we have to work with the rest of the world" mean? When you add up all the effort that has come from the FOSS world towards open standards and interoperability, I wonder what the heck you are talking about. What else can anyone do? I do hope you're not recommending bending over and compromising FOSS for the sake of keeping FOSS-unfriendly businesses happy.
dinotrac

Aug 09, 2007
10:55 AM EDT
>Are you saying that Novell's Linux business is hopeless without making a some sort of an agreement with and on MS terms to survive?

No. I am saying that Novell's business has suffered mightily at the hands of Microsoft and that Novell management made a judgment that the deal was beneficial.
Abe

Aug 09, 2007
10:59 AM EDT
Quoting:But to be successful, we have to work with the rest of the software world.
We do and that doesn't mean we have to oblige to everybody else's terms. We have our own rules, guidelines and conditions that constitute a license called The GPL to protect what the FOSS community have created and developed.

Quoting:I believe the GPL v3 is detrimental to that effort in some ways, and in those ways looks more like Microsofts ELUA than an open software license.
Quoting:Maybe the much vaunted 4 freedoms should be prefaced as follows; "it's free software as long as we approve of how you use it." The GPLv3 approach seems a bit hypocritical to me.


How so? The GPL grants you rights and one of them free as in beer. Another is Free software as in freedom with necessary conditions to protect the code. Can you say the same about the EULA you speak of? Of course not.

You don't agree with the GPL, and you don't like closed source. Well guess what? you use software that comes with BSD type of license, or you can use software that comes with any other Open Source license and there are many of them. The developers are the one who decide. What license they choose for their code is up to them, not you, not me, not anyone else. If you think that is not right, well touch luck, go find other software.

I don't think you are an end user, otherwise it wouldn't have made a difference to you. You must be a commercial software developer, or works for one, and just want to take whatever you can find and not have to give back. Well, that would be opportunistic and hypocrisy and we don't believe that is fair.

Better luck with something else.



Libervis

Aug 09, 2007
12:25 PM EDT
@cjcox:

Quoting:No... Linux (meaning everything it runs) was created to solve problems.


If you are talking about a kernel then you may very well be right, but if you're talking about an operating system then things aren't that simple. Possibly more than a half of the OS you are talking about is consisted of GNU and it was created to restore users freedom, four freedoms at that.

And you saying this actually makes a good point for calling the OS "GNU/Linux" instead of "Linux". If you actually attributed the OS as GNU being GNU and not just Linux you wouldn't be so likely to just outright assume the reason for its creation to merely solving practical problems.

@dumper4311:

Quoting:It's refreshing to see that the Linux world isn't completely filled with FOSS zealots.


Quoting:the infighting and extremist tactics don't help our cause.


Zealots and infighting extremists. So that's what we are?

If you actually knew who you are branding as zealots and extremists you wouldn't be calling them *FOSS* zealots, because you would know that out of the "Free Open Source Software" we support only "Free Software" and in fact reject the philosophy of shallowness that Open Source represents, which is what led it to becoming a barely meaningful buzzword slipping even from its founders fingers.

As for Novell, they are talking about this mixed source world. Well, good luck to them grasping on to their perception of the moment. But living in a moment is not enough if you don't recognize the context of time, which includes future and past and the direction in which things move between the two. Free Software became significant enough to be counted as a participant in an otherwise proprietary world and its *intended* direction is into the future where *it* will dominate and proprietary software will remain irrelevant.

Some businesses will prepare for that future. Others will grasp for temporary moments of a mere process that leads to it.
Bob_Robertson

Aug 09, 2007
12:54 PM EDT
I like being a zealot for F/OSS. I have seen the herculean efforts that F/OSS programmers and developers have gone through to make systems compatible to the ever shifting and undocumented "proprietary" but widely installed base.

I have seen these people imprisoned for allowing me to do with one computer what I can do with another computer.

This is a worthy cause by itself, over and above its simple practicality. "Rough Consensus and Running Code" has become "Published Standards and Open Code". Hoorah.

Dino, dino dino...

> Novell management made a judgment that the deal was beneficial.

As completely as I agree with you, keep in mind that it is you who have said that such deals which you don't like can be violated at will.

It is a private contract between Novell and Microsoft. What the terms are are their problem, not mine, and if it sinks them then so be it. If it benefits them, then, again, so be it.

So long as I don't have to buy their product.

dinotrac

Aug 09, 2007
1:03 PM EDT
>it is you who have said that such deals which you don't like can be violated at will.

I have never made such a statement. It is you who fabricates positions for others at will.
tracyanne

Aug 09, 2007
1:27 PM EDT
Quoting:oot... how many people are now cheating their way through school. I estimate it's about 50%. Yes... I believe 50% of those coming out with college degrees got those degrees by cheating. Sadly, the very technology that they do not understand is being used by them to facilitate the cheating process.


Sorry this is a bit off subject, but I found this a very interesting comment.

A few years ago (2002 -2003) I signed up with an organisation that offered to pay for code. The deal was that other people who had a need would post their needs on the board, and software developers would bid for the job. almost all of the jobs that I bid on turned out to be computer students wanting someone to do their assignments for them.

I was so disillusioned, I packed it in.
Bob_Robertson

Aug 09, 2007
2:14 PM EDT
> I have never made such a statement.

So you don't support the prosecution of Microsoft for their "monopolistic" practice of negotiating sole-source contracts OEM? Gee, someone must be posting under your name.

> It is you who fabricates positions for others at will.

While I disagree with this statement, it's nice to know my arguments are memorable. Thank you for the vote of confidence.
dumper4311

Aug 09, 2007
2:37 PM EDT
Wow, stirred up a regular hornets nest, didn't I. It's funny that we're all still fighting about the same issues after all this time. I'd like to submit this as the perfect example of what cjcox was talking about.

@tuxchick: If you've ever read commentary by Linus Torvalds on the GPL3, that little red flag must go up frequently :) My concerns are very much the same, and he's expressed them much more effectively. Specifically, I don't believe a software license has any business defining hardware compatibility requirements - "YOU can only use OUR 'free' software if you guarantee YOUR derivative code will run on any platform WE choose (tivo). Further, this whole "patent protection" deal was smoke and mirrors, useful only to alleviate the fears of pointy-haired bosses. That is, until the GPL3 and the FSF brought it front and center and turned it into a crusade. Now even productive, practical professionals have to worry about the fallout. I couldn't care less about keeping FOSS unfriendly business happy, I simply recognize the absolute necessity of playing nice with the other children in the software sandbox, some of whom are corporate children. These alleged freedoms are worth nothing if fanaticism marginalizes the code to complete disuse.

@Abe & Libervis: Thank you both, you've provided very effective examples of my point.

Abe: I've no problem with the GPLv2, it does exactly what you said. The problem with the more religious side of this particular argument (and it's embodiment in the GPLv3) is their tendency to re-define "Freedom" to match their own personal moral code. This isn't freedom, this is license imposed belief.

"If you think that is not right, well touch luck, go find other software." - Well there we are, the hostility and infighting cjcox mentioned, and a very effective demonstration of the difference between actual freedom, and your moralized version of it.

You're partially right, I'm not just an end user (although Linux is my primary desktop - anywhere I have the choice). But I'm not a software developer, don't work for one, and don't play one on TV. Just an admin who uses the simplest and best tools for the job wherever I can. Needless (and mostly pointless) posturing about personal beliefs over actual freedom complicates my world, and everyone elses.

Libervis: Oh dear, another convenient re-definition of the english language. Lets try to clear this up. "Operating System: n. Software designed to control the hardware of a specific data-processing system in order to allow users and application programs to make use of it." The American HeritageĀ® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright Ā© 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

The GNU components you heap so much reverence on are - wait for it - userland utilities, command shells, and the odd compiler. Read - the application programs mentioned in the above definition. This is such an old argument, only religious furvor keeps it alive. Mind you, I use many of the GNU utilities you mention, and I greatly appreciate their availibility, but they're worth exactly nothing without an operating system to run them on. Additionally, 50%??? come on. The arguement for GNU/Linux based on that is no more valid than the arguement for KDE/Linux or X.org/Linux.

"If you actually attributed the OS as GNU being GNU and not just Linux you wouldn't be so likely to just outright assume the reason for its creation to merely solving practical problems."

We've just discussed why I'd never make that mistake, and you've just demonstrated the only reason for the use of those tools. Even the FSF demigod, RMS himself, has stated that the reason he started with "free" software was his disappointment in proprietary software and drivers - to solve practical problems. Can't we all just take a step back, a deep breath, and get a grip?

You're absolutely right about one thing however, I shouldn't have used the label FOSS. The "free software" crowd are the zealots. Its clear that there is no such thing as FOSS, the infighting zealots have made sure there will be no cooperation on any such practical front. Please forgive my misstatement.
tuxchick

Aug 09, 2007
2:47 PM EDT
Hmm, you almost had me believing you were more interested in discussion than merely insulting people until you got to "The "free software" crowd are the zealots. Its clear that there is no such thing as FOSS, the infighting zealots have made sure there will be no cooperation on any such practical front. Please forgive my misstatement." Nice going. At least I know I don't have to take you seriously, which saves a lot of pointless discussion.
dumper4311

Aug 09, 2007
2:58 PM EDT
@tuxchick: Call it what you will, your response looks like the perfect opportunity for the "more fervent" on this subject to not have to deal with the issues at hand. Time for another definition: 1. One who is zealous, especially excessively so. 2. A fanatically committed person. - Same source as in my previous post.

I'm sorry if I've offended you or any other readers, although I'm not sure how exactly that assessment is any more offensive than it is accurate.

@cjcox: I'd also like to apologize if I've misrepresented your comments in any way in support of my own. I simply felt you made some good points.

And for the record, in trying to discuss this subject I feel a bit like I'm pushing an elephant. There's every bit as much resistance from infighting as there is from the proprietary software world.
Bob_Robertson

Aug 09, 2007
3:04 PM EDT
> There's every bit as much resistance from infighting as there is from the proprietary software world.

...Might be human nature. "We" do seem to be rather tribal about everything.
dumper4311

Aug 09, 2007
3:26 PM EDT
@Bob_Robertson: Can't argue with that at all . . . kinda takes the fun out of it for the troll in me. :)

Truth is, I'm just as zealous as anyone else posting here. I just disagree with RMS and company's moralistic interpretation of "freedom" as expressed in the GPLv3.

From your own comments: "So you don't support the prosecution of Microsoft for their "monopolistic" practice of negotiating sole-source contracts OEM?"

Personally, I do support such prosecution. For the exact same reasons I renounce the more draconian provisions I mentioned in the GPLv3. Microsoft seeks control for profit, the FSF seeks the same type of control for their moralistic interpretation of the word "Freedom." In either case, it's simply wrong.

Again, allow me to apologize to anyone I've offended by expressing my beliefs. It is obviously a sensitive set of subjects, but I appreciate the dialog from this site - even if I don't always agree with it. Hopefully the "easy way out" of branding me a troll won't take hold, I really do appreciate the debate, it helps me clarify my own position, and understand the other side of the coin better. Not necessarily agree with, mind you, but at least understand.
Libervis

Aug 09, 2007
3:32 PM EDT
@dumper4311:

Quoting:It's funny that we're all still fighting about the same issues after all this time.


Indeed. So why are you?

Quoting:Specifically, I don't believe a software license has any business defining hardware compatibility requirements


You don't. Some do. If law allows it, it will be done. Get over it and use another license if you dislike this one.

Quoting:YOU can only use OUR 'free' software if you guarantee YOUR derivative code will run on any platform WE choose (tivo)


Not "any platform we choose", but "any platform you buy". If you buy it should be yours to use however you want to. GPLv3 ensures that you can use covered software on your own property.

Quoting:The problem with the more religious side of this particular argument


Oh no not the old pointless "religion" rhetoric. If you want to debate religion go to church. We are about connecting software with social and economic justice that's lacking in the proprietary software world. If you see religion in that then you must see religion in everything. What an enlightened fellow you are.

Quoting:This isn't freedom, this is license imposed belief.


Gosh, so if I write a license I'm supposed to be careful not to put any of my personal beliefs into it? Why the heck would a write a license at all then? What kind of a bubble are you living in?

Again, if you don't like it don't use it. That's not an imposition, that's choice. Oh, you don't like that half of GNU/Linux is going to be under GPLv3? Well, maybe you should go to BSD then. The world will keep spinning.

Quoting:Needless (and mostly pointless) posturing about personal beliefs over actual freedom complicates my world, and everyone elses.


Go find the nearest dictatorial regime and move there then. They will tell you what to believe and you wont have to worry about any of that stuff. The rest of us will continue valuing our freedom and keep the discussion about it alive.

Quoting:Mind you, I use many of the GNU utilities you mention, and I greatly appreciate their availibility, but they're worth exactly nothing without an operating system to run them on.


And Linux is worth nothing to the user without basic system software, whereas you can do without Xorg and other applications.

Quoting:Even the FSF demigod, RMS himself, has stated that the reason he started with "free" software was his disappointment in proprietary software and drivers - to solve practical problems.


I'd be willing to bet that whatever your source for that statement was (if any) you are terribly misreading it. Disappointment with lack of freedom with proprietary software is the primary reason why he started the whole thing. This has been said by him and others so many times that it's incredible that there are still people who didn't get the message.

To be honest I am increasingly believing that whenever someone starts comparing something with religious zealotry there is some pathological rage in them relative to that something. It just can't be taken seriously.



Libervis

Aug 09, 2007
3:35 PM EDT
Ok dumper, looks like you've softened a bit, which I appreciate. Difference of opinions? That's fair enough. As long as we're not name calling and FUDding.
dinotrac

Aug 09, 2007
3:46 PM EDT
>So you don't support the prosecution of Microsoft for their "monopolistic" practice of negotiating sole-source contracts OEM?

I never supported prosecuting Microsoft for antitrust. With conviction in hand, however, I absolutely supported and continue to support any appropriate action to protect the market.

I considered the original prosecution to be a waste of government resources. Worse, I always suspect that it was political grandstanding by the Clinton administration. Before the prosecution, Clinton and Co. signed a sweetheart deal with Microsoft so bad that a federal judge tried to strike it down.

To this day, I am convinced that Clinton never intended to win that case and that victory was a nearly complete surprise. I'm probably wrong, but the alternative is to presume that inept prosecutors were saved by a judge who was smarter than he looked.
Bob_Robertson

Aug 09, 2007
3:49 PM EDT
> Microsoft seeks control for profit, the FSF seeks the same type of control for their moralistic interpretation of the word "Freedom." In either case, it's simply wrong.

Microsoft are merely self-centered. They want it all.

Stallman has said that he believes it is wrong for _me_ to release code as proprietary. I think this hooks into the "forced altruism" behind the political "left".

Yes, I too think they're both wrong. But neither of them can tell me what I may or may not do with my own production. Yet.

I think the GPL concept and GPLv2 are a boon to human-kind, fostering the kind of philosophical revolt against proprietary Big Brother that might allow free investigation to survive the integration into digital format the same way the concept of the lending library idea made the availability of literature wide spread instead of the perview of the elite.

If _neither_ extreme gains access to coercion, there is still hope for the future.
dumper4311

Aug 09, 2007
4:00 PM EDT
@Libervis: That was beautiful, sincerely. I believe you should run for politics. I've never seen such elegant dancing around the issues where the only actual answer given is "if you don't like it, go somewhere else."

I'm not mad, and I was never really "hardened" on the issue any more than the "Free Software" croud about their own position. The only difference is I want to discuss the issue rationally, rather than say "if you don't like it, don't use it."

Truth is, I do use BSD also, but I appreciate the more chaotic development style of the Linux OS. So if forced to, I and most of the practical world may very well have to move to something else because of "more fervent" individuals. :) It's just a shame to see it come to that because a small but vocal group chooses to shove their moral interpretation of what's right and wrong down everyone elses throat, instead of supporting the actual freedom they claim to cherish. To me, that is religion.

"To be honest I am increasingly believing that whenever someone starts comparing something with religious zealotry there is some pathological rage in them relative to that something."

:) seriously, that was amazingly cool. Mind you, it's the same "I call troll" argument we saw earlier (don't like the turn in the discussion, dismiss the other side), but it was done in a very smooth way. I'm completely serious my friend, you could be president.
Libervis

Aug 09, 2007
5:30 PM EDT
Dumper, I said a bit more than just "if you don't like it, go somewhere else". So what more can I say really? You nor anyone else who argued that point never really provided any compelling argument behind the claim that FSF is shoving their interpretation of morality towards everyone else because in fact that very argument doesn't make much sense in the context we are in.

Some of the things I said directly respond to some of the notions behind such an argument and I didn't see a direct response from you to those.

If you want an example here is it, I said:

Quoting:Not "any platform we choose", but "any platform you buy". If you buy it should be yours to use however you want to. GPLv3 ensures that you can use covered software on your own property.


And to continue the argument I will say again, GPLv3 is here to grant and *protect* four freedoms long devised in a Free Software definition. You claim that this definition is being shoved down your throat without you having a say which implies that you don't agree that you should have those four freedoms?

Or maybe you just don't like the method which FSF uses to grant and protect those freedoms, but you feel that the method is being forced on you?

If the latter is the case then what kind of response do you really expect? FSF's GNU Project owns copyright to GNU software and hence has every moral and legal right to change its license. They don't force others to change their licenses so what's wrong?

Oh, yeah, what's wrong is that the OS you are using, GNU/Linux, contains GNU as an essential part meaning that if you want to use GNU/Linux you have to use GPLv3 covered software. So if that hurts you so much, what else am I supposed to say then, "go use something else", or do you perhaps suggest that the FSF should be taken away their copyrights on GNU just to make you happy? Of course, there is also a third option: fork the GNU project! They wont stop you!

So there, I'm not escaping the discussion. So have at it.

Quoting:It's just a shame to see it come to that because a small but vocal group chooses to shove their moral interpretation of what's right and wrong down everyone elses throat, instead of supporting the actual freedom they claim to cherish.


How can they shove anything on everyone else if everyone else has the freedom to either not use GPLv3 covered software or fork it into not-GPLv3 covered software (both freedoms which FSF in fact promotes)?

I think it's you who should get a grip. ;)

Cheers
Libervis

Aug 09, 2007
5:41 PM EDT
@Bob_Robertson:

Quoting:Stallman has said that he believes it is wrong for _me_ to release code as proprietary. I think this hooks into the "forced altruism" behind the political "left".


Don't ascribe to it more than there is. Just because someone believes something is wrong doesn't necessarily mean he would force anyone to do the right thing.

That said, he did say that proprietary software should be illegal, which is within the context of a society we are living in naturally quite a hard to justify statement. But that still doesn't mean that he would make it illegal. It can merely again be an expression of his belief that it is wrong.

I could say it is wrong to have sex in the public, for example and that it should hence be illegal, but would I really make that illegal if I would, as Dumper suggests, become a president? Not necessarily. If people prevalently do it and think they should continue to have the freedom to do it, I might budge on that particular legislation without budging from my belief that it is wrong.

Bottom line is, law can't change much. The real change is in social norms and mentality. FSF is doing a LOT in that direction with their campaigns and GPL is merely one legal tool people can *choose* to use if they believe that what FSF promotes is a good idea.
Bob_Robertson

Aug 09, 2007
6:02 PM EDT
> That said, he did say that proprietary software should be illegal...

Which is all I said. It doesn't require any more, simply that he would use coercion to enforce his opinion of right and wrong, if he could.

I think it's a "bad" thing to do, just as I think it's bad to burn your brain out on acid, or bungie-jump with automobile bungie cords, or lots of other stupid things that people choose to do to themselves.

> would I really make that illegal if I would, as Dumper suggests, become a president? Not necessarily.

Too bad. I was hoping for an outright denial of "might makes right", rather than "not necessarily".

> Bottom line is, law can't change much. The real change is in social norms and mentality.

Ah! Now you're getting somewhere. The only effective "laws" are the ones that codify what people already believe. But then, the laws are not needed.

Everything that it is possible to do to someone else against their will has been illegal for centuries, even millennia. How I choose to release my own work can hardly be called aggression against other people. They are free to use or not use it as they wish.

I agree with ESR that the GPL-style code is more efficient, and will win out in the end if allowed to do so. A general refusal to use anything _not_ licensed F/OSS will do more to promote it than any law could.

And I note that the BSA is offering up to $1M for snitches. How about going to the boss and saying, "Look, if the BSA raided this place we'd be up poop creek. We need to look at using something they can't strong-arm us with, and it will save us money too."

Just because you believe something is wrong doesn't mean everyone thinks its wrong.

When prosecuting a crime, bring forward the parties harmed, demonstrate injury, demand restitution. Let the rest fall where it may, and we will have a much more peaceful and respectful society.

dumper4311

Aug 09, 2007
6:03 PM EDT
Oooohh, I'm getting dizzy.

@Libervis: Ok, in all honesty, I didn't address your points any more directly than you did mine. As I mentioned in one of my original posts, others have covered these issues much more eloquently than myself, but to be fair, let's discuss the one you mentioned:

"Not "any platform we choose", but "any platform you buy". If you buy it should be yours to use however you want to."

According to who? RMS? the FSF? At what point did it become ok for anyone who releases "free" code to dictate the hardware design and compatibility requirements of a company (or individual) who uses their "free" code on their hardware. Your average user couldn't give a squirt less about the issue. But people who understand the concept of "free code" should know better than to try and dictate someone elses business model. You knew the capabilities and restrictions of that device when you bought it, so here's the same arguement you're so fond of: if you don't like it, don't use it. But it's not right to try and use your supposedly "free" code as a tool to force them to do things your way. That's the same type of draconian crap pulled by Microsoft, and that the FSF is supposedly fighting against.

Now to the point you presented Bob_Robertson with: "Don't ascribe to it more than there is. Just because someone believes something is wrong doesn't necessarily mean he would force anyone to do the right thing."

Yep, except in the GPL3. As we've just covered, that's EXACTLY what RMS and the "overly exuberant" FSF crowd are trying to do.

Here's the really sad part, and one of the central points of the discussion: be careful what you wish for. Eventually the business investors, less "steadfast" developers, and average users wanting to play their MP3's will get tired of the "if you don't like it, don't use it" arguement, and they'll stop. They will fork the code, or move to something completely different.

The FSF is tripping over themselves to leverage the little bit of influence they now enjoy with their userland utilities and applications, and trying to force their moral view on anybody who wishes to use their supposedly "free" code. Sadly, rather than working to a brighter future, they're very possibly isolating themselves from the rest of the world - open source and proprietary developers alike.

Change in social norms and mentality is a lofty goal. I'm just saying that the means do not justify the ends. RMS is no better in that way than Bill Gates.
theboomboomcars

Aug 09, 2007
6:31 PM EDT
Quoting:According to who? RMS? the FSF? At what point did it become ok for anyone who releases "free" code to dictate the hardware design and compatibility requirements of a company (or individual) who uses their "free" code on their hardware.


I think what Libervis is trying to say is that if I buy a Tivo that is running free software and I choose to change the software to suit me better, the hardware I bought should run the software. Which I completely agree with. However if I just rent the hardware from Tivo, then it is their hardware and unless specifically specified I don't have the right to change it.

I have never looked into Tivo so I don't know how they do things. But since I do believe I have seen them for sale in electronics stores I am guessing I buy the hardware. Since I own the hardware I should be able to change the software on it.
Bob_Robertson

Aug 09, 2007
6:43 PM EDT
> Since I own the hardware I should be able to change the software on it.

Which is why I thought the much better way to answer the Tivo "threat" was to reverse engineer un-DRM'd ROM images.

It is, after all, _your_ hardware. You bought it, you can change it any way you want.

To demand that Tivo-supplied hardware run your software is no different than demanding Ford provide engine mounts for your Dodge motor. Go build your own engine mounts, no GPLv3 required for that.
moopst

Aug 09, 2007
6:57 PM EDT
To this day, I am convinced that Clinton never intended to win that case and that victory was a nearly complete surprise. I'm probably wrong, but the alternative is to presume that inept prosecutors were saved by a judge who was smarter than he looked. ----

I thought Boise did a pretty good job catching Microsoft at fabricating evidence in that video when he noticed the title bar changing oddly. It forced MS to come clean on that and after that Judge Jackson didn't give MS any breaks.

As for Clinton, who knows what he was up to. It must have been an eight year frat party complete with $500 haircuts that shut down LAX.
tuxchick

Aug 09, 2007
8:46 PM EDT
yeah, dumper, I think 'troll' is apt. Sounds like you're used to being called that.
dumper4311

Aug 10, 2007
12:16 AM EDT
@tuxchick: It's obvious you're very passionate about your opinion, and thats a good thing. But passion is blind, and useful only in so far as tempered with reason. Haven't I made an honest attempt to answer the questions you posed? By labeling me and discounting my position out of hand, you have become the very thing you've accused me of.

I will undoubtedly continue to disagree with Libervis, but at least he's tried to reasonably express his point of view, and whether I agree or not, I can respect that, and I am interested in his opinion.

Bob_Robertson said something to the effect of: If we can keep the extremists on either side (proprietary or "free" software) from gaining too much influence, there's still hope for the future. Up to this point, I've seen nothing to convince me otherwise.

By the way, I noticed your comment from the other thread on this article. If you'll do a brief search, and apply a bit of due dilligence, you'll discover that Novell has given Microsoft more than a few legal bloody noses in it's history.

Again, I apologize if I've offended you, but quite frankly, I find your quips at least as counterproductive and offensive as you've accused me of being. None the less, I'll not discount your opinion should you chose to express it.
dinotrac

Aug 10, 2007
12:27 AM EDT
>By the way, I noticed your comment from the other thread on this article. If you'll do a brief search, and apply a bit of due dilligence, you'll discover that Novell has given Microsoft more than a few legal bloody noses in it's history.

I continue to marvel at the antipathy towards Novell.

A. The company has a long history of competing very hard against Microsoft B. They've managed to beat Microsoft in court to the tune of hundreds of millions. C. SuSE has a long and beneficial history.

With regard to Linux (only 10-15% of their business), Novell may have made a mistake with regard to their Microsoft deal. Maybe. But sheesh!!!! Even if they did, everybody screws up now and then.
Libervis

Aug 10, 2007
12:46 AM EDT
Dumper,

Quoting:According to who? RMS? the FSF?


Them, myself, common sense? Seriously, you're questioning the principle of having control over what is essentially your property? That question really doesn't make common sense.

Quoting:At what point did it become ok for anyone who releases "free" code to dictate the hardware design and compatibility requirements of a company (or individual) who uses their "free" code on their hardware.


Um, when copyrights got introduced, perhaps?

If I decide to restrict the hardware maker from making it impossible to run modified versions of my software on that hardware once it becomes my software users' property, why shouldn't I do that? It is hardware maker which should opt out if they don't like such terms, not myself as a copyright holder. So we're back at the old argument which you apparently do not want to hear; if TiVo doesn't like the terms under which software they want to use is licensed, they can either use something else or fork it. They can't possibly expect the copyright holder to budge for their interests!

Yet again, get a freaking grip on reality dude! Copyright works the other way around for copyright holders. You create a program, you set the terms and you can set whichever terms you wish. If noone likes the terms, noone uses the software.

FSF creates the license and it indeed put certain clauses for strategic reasons because they expect a sufficient amount of people to switch to the new license for it to make meaningful impact. And now you are apparently angered because they are actually able to do that, because there is actually a sufficient number of people who do take the terms of GPLv3 as the terms they want to embrace as their own, for their own code. You are making yourself think that this power that FSF has is power that they have in some way coerced on everyone, whilst exactly the opposite is true.

By their choices, a great number of software developers *continue* to choose FSFs licenses for their software. If at any point FSF does something those developers would not agree with, they can switch to something else (or not switch to a new license) and therefore remove their support for the FSF.

It is all apparently voluntary and yet you are arguing that FSF somehow forces everyone into submission. I can't stress enough how little sense that makes, if you just dare to look beyond your (mis)conceptions.

Quoting:Yep, except in the GPL3. As we've just covered, that's EXACTLY what RMS and the "overly exuberant" FSF crowd are trying to do.


OMG how many times does it have to be said? GPLv3 is not the law. It is a Free Software license. How the hell can they coerce anyone then if everyone has the ability to not use it or to fork the software if they want it but don't like the license.

I am almost repeating myself now man. Looks like you need to READ before you continue raving on.

Quoting:They will fork the code, or move to something completely different.


Let them be my guest. That's what Free Software is about. If you think you can do better, just go and do it.

Of course, you are giving it way to much drama than it really contains, which seems to be your usual tactic. Make some stuff up, twist some other stuff as to make it look like RMS is a mighty dictator and we are all his minions, so people should and will run away from that madness. Woke up from your nightmare yet?
Libervis

Aug 10, 2007
12:54 AM EDT
Bob_Robertson,

Quoting:Which is why I thought the much better way to answer the Tivo "threat" was to reverse engineer un-DRM'd ROM images.

It is, after all, _your_ hardware. You bought it, you can change it any way you want.


Man step back and ask yourself how much sense does that make. I mean, so I order a product and then have to go through a tedious process of redoing a significant part of it so that it can run the way I want it to!? Yet if they simply omitted to put the effort into putting DRM into the device it would be fully operational no matter which software I run on it.

Guys, you're starting to sound like you've been living in some sort of a dystopia for too long.

Bob_Robertson

Aug 10, 2007
7:00 AM EDT
> so I order a product and then have to go through a tedious process of redoing a significant part of it so that it can run the way I want it to!?

You bought it, you obviously wanted it. If you didn't want it, why did you buy it?

You're already talking about modifying and recompiling the software, yet you object to modifying and recompiling the ROM? I assure you there are lots of people for whom the former is, how did you put it, "redoing a significant part of it".

Why not avoid the whole issue and run MythTV, then send a note to Tivo.com telling then why they lost a sale? Lose enough sales, Tivo will change their policies.

All you do by buying their product is telling them that you _want_ their product.

> Yet if they simply omitted to put the effort into putting DRM into the device it would be fully operational no matter which software I run on it.

Yes indeed. Which is why I didn't buy a Tivo. I didn't want _their_product_, so I didn't buy _their_product_.

> you're starting to sound like you've been living in some sort of a dystopia for too long.

I'm living in the United States. Did you have some other disutopia in mind? This one is about as un-"dis" as is to be found on earth, and it's pretty "dis".

Libervis

Aug 10, 2007
8:22 AM EDT
Bob, I would agree with most of what you say. There is just one a bit troubling issue with the whole voting with your wallet philosophy which you're pretty much describing here. There are too many users which are simply not aware that their TiVo is locked down, and may yet still find themselves at some point in a situation of being offered an alternative improved version of software to run on it, just to find that then it wont work. Geeks who understand the issue can have it quite an easy choice here, but the rest.. it's another story.

And so if not a sufficient amount of people votes with their wallets TiVo *will* stay in the market, a market which they are essentially closing down for everyone but themselves because nobody but TiVo can decide what to run on those boxes, closing the doors to the potential TiVo-software market.

And all this said you gotta ask yourself is this all fair considering that TiVo is using GNU/Linux, an OS developed in a spirit so obviously opposite of what TiVo is doing? At the very least you can understand why would an owner of Free Software copyrights want to set terms which require that derivates of his software would run on any device that the user may own. A lot of software developers use GPL exactly because they want to promote the spirit of what it provides, and TiVo breaks that spirit.

So you can't blame FSF for putting the Tivoization clause in. I'd be willing to be that many Free Software developers do want to have such a clause in their license and I'd also argue that due to this clause, what TiVo is doing will be severely discouraged in the future, therefore allowing for a more open market around such devices.

All in all I just can't see the harm that some are propagating so much. You're not forced to partake in FSFs strategy so there's no imposition whatsoever.

Quoting:I'm living in the United States. Did you have some other disutopia in mind? This one is about as un-"dis" as is to be found on earth, and it's pretty "dis".


Oookaay.. undisutopia.. whatever. :P

Seriously, the reason I mentioned living in dystopia is because I believe that people should expect more respect for their rights than it sometimes seems evident. In other words, instead of just ignoring what TiVo is doing despite the fact that many fall for it (not really knowing about the restriction that it carries) thinking that merely voting with your wallet will make all such problems go away I believe you should be actively, as a human being, expressing outrage and distaste for what TiVo is doing. In a world where customers actually get the respect they deserve noone would even think of such schemes as DRM. At the end of the day it is all consumer control and that is outrageous.

So excuse me if I feel distasteful about anyone having such an easygoing perhaps a bit too tolerant stance for such things.
Bob_Robertson

Aug 10, 2007
9:23 AM EDT
> There are too many users which are simply not aware that their TiVo is locked down

Ah! The "I know better than you do what you want" syndrome.

I believe the technical term is "hubris".

> closing the doors to the potential TiVo-software market.

Unless you're talking about something else, I believe you mean MythTV and the like?

Oh, right, they don't run on Tivo hardware. They run on non-Tivo hardware, for people who don't want a Tivo.

Let me return to my automobile example: If I don't want a Ford, I don't buy a Ford. I don't get upset with Ford if my Dodge radio doesn't fit in a Ford car. If I want a Dodge radio to fit in a Ford car I will fix the car so it does fit.

So if I want to run non-Tivo software on Tivo hardware, I will fix the Tivo hardware to do so. Or I will not buy a Tivo.

> In a world where customers actually get the respect they deserve noone would even think of such schemes as DRM.

So long as people are not forced to buy DRM-encumbered hardware/software, those who wish to are welcome to do so. They will simply not sell anything to me, or you, or the other people likely to be reading this missive. If they want to sell things to you, and me, and the other people likely reading this missive, they are welcome to start by not using DRM-encumbered systems.

> So excuse me if I feel distasteful about anyone having such an easygoing perhaps a bit too tolerant stance for such things.

You go right ahead and feel any way you want. Just don't use force to make anyone else do what you want them to, and we'll all get along just fine.

By trying to tell people they may _not_ use DRM, you are making the same mistake as the people who say they _must_ use DRM. I prefer not to simply trade tyrants.

Libervis

Aug 10, 2007
9:39 AM EDT
Quoting:Ah! The "I know better than you do what you want" syndrome.


No, it's the "do you know what you're actually buying" syndrome. ;)

Quoting:So if I want to run non-Tivo software on Tivo hardware, I will fix the Tivo hardware to do so.


Hmm, but is that even legal under DMCA? If not then you perhaps get my point that if there is not more outrage than merely voting with your wallet they may conspire to take your basic freedoms away even further.

Quoting:You go right ahead and feel any way you want. Just don't use force to make anyone else do what you want them to, and we'll all get along just fine.


Agreed, and again I don't believe supporting GPLv3 anyhow amounts to that.

Quoting:By trying to tell people they may _not_ use DRM, you are making the same mistake as the people who say they _must_ use DRM.


Well, I can license my software anyway I want to. If they don't like the license they don't have to agree to it, or they can fork the covered software. Of course, now I'm being a bit redundant. :)

Licensing is not same as legislating something into law, therefore no coercion of the kind you imply happens.
Bob_Robertson

Aug 10, 2007
10:56 AM EDT
> but is that even legal under DMCA?

Coercion, used to tell me what I may and may not do with my own property.

How could I possibly agree with that?

> Licensing is not same as legislating something into law, therefore no coercion of the kind you imply happens.

I couldn't agree more.

hkwint

Aug 10, 2007
11:03 AM EDT
There's a LXer feature story about the issues raised in this tread, which I just wrote, just for your reading pleasure. It's at:

http://lxer.com/module/newswire/view/91044/index.html

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