Posted by: Anthony E. Greene
on April 13, 2002 10:11 PM
No company is under any obligation to use the Linux kernel or any other GPL'd software -- they do it to push the ideas.
They chose Linux because of the momentum Linux has in the market. That momentum may help them make money. Pushing the ideas is something that individuals and companies that already have money can afford to do. Even the company name was chosen to take advantage of market momentum and mindshare.
If they wanted to take someone else's code and make proprietary software, they should have used BSD.
The FSF has a vested interest in making sure companies don't start thinking they can ride roughshod over the GPL. Other projects and thousands of programmers share that interest. The Linux kernel is not the only project that uses the GPL. If the GPL becomes a license that can be readily ignored, it would be a net loss for the community.
They knew what the license was before they got started. They knew this course of action was not in accordance with the license. They knew this course of action would cause them trouble. But they did it anyway, and now they want to talk about the community eating its young. If they are allowed to blatantly ignore the GPL, that will harm the community a lot more than any criticism of Lindows.