Friday, August 17, 2001

Great interview on Slashdot It's worth reading this Bradley Kuhn (VP of the Free Software Foundation) interview where he talks about software libre.

Two thoughts I had today on Free software:
1) The GPL is essentially the poor man's patents. Just as companies gather patents mainly to trade or pool them with other companies (and ensure they have access to other patented works) the GPL maintains open access to a network of related software works. Individual developers can't stockpile patents to ensure they get a seat at the table, but they can license code under the GPL.

2) Hardware vendors that don't release their drivers for GNU/Linux are probably being paid off by Microsoft, or other proprietary software OS providers who want to fight against the open source operating system. Hardware vendors have every incentive to commoditize complementary products (ie. products that use the hardware) and having many open drivers is the obvious way to do this. The only reason they would act against their sound economic interest is if they were being paid. If anyone has any inside info on this, please write to me at zimran@winterspeak.com

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