The impact of open source, grids, and advanced networks

Stephen D. Williams sdw@lig.net
Sun, 10 Feb 2002 14:18:50 -0500


Chuck Murcko wrote:

>
> On Sunday, February 10, 2002, at 02:15 AM, Gary Lawrence Murphy wrote:
>
>>>>>>> "C" == Chuck Murcko <chuck@topsail.org> writes:
>>>>>>
>>
>>     C> I don't think rms had the idea; IMO he just borrowed it.  The
>>     C> RCP/M and RBBS communities were going for at least five full
>>     C> years before FSF appeared. There was lots of open, cooperative
>>     C> development there. FidoNet grew out of that once the IBM PC
>>     C> appeared.
>>
>> RMS didn't invent the idea of free software, he invented the
>> 'copyleft', a legal document by which free software could be codified
>> and spared some of the aggrivation experienced by the cases you site
>> (remember Phil Katz?) RMS knew very well of the prior history of
>> free software; he sought to protect it from it's own naiivity.
>>
>
> Yes, actually. The legal aggravation like SEA v. PKWare is endemic to 
> the software business, not just to the open forms of it.
>
> I believe the copyleft has also never been to court. So it's really a 
> philosophy until then, no? 

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.html
While it's under 'philosophy', reading it makes their case seem strong. 
 I don't know of any copyright law holes in it and I'm reasonably savvy 
about copyright/trademark/patent and contract law.

>
>
>> As for a movement, RMS didn't call the the "GNU Manifesto" for nothing.
>>
>
> There's also a sizeable community of non-copyleft software. I think it 
> managed to cope with its naivety on its own. 

And it could be coopted by Microsoft, et al, at any time, speaking of 
licenses like BSD.  The various Open Source (tm) licenses have the 
strength of GPL with compromised goals.  Useful for many circumstances.

sdw

> Chuck
>
>
>
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