Eben Moglen challenges Tim O'Reilly to "join the conversation"
Posted by: Anonymous
on July 25, 2007 03:21 PM
I'm tired of people who babble on about Freedoms, Arguing that more freedom is better, and forgetting that the most totally free type of system is anarchy. The reason we need rules is that in a totally free system, Might makes right. There is a reason why this country instituted things like the SEC to watch over Free Markets. (For those of you who don't know your history, it was because the unregulated markets that existed before some rules were set, were geared to rigging by the rich, they were also largely unstable, but that is more related to Herd Mentality). They also set up rules to govern what large companies were allowed to do. Have you read about how Rockefeller, and Carnegie, and Vanderbilt made their fortunes? It's unsavory. One of the reasons sited in recent years about America's economic strength, is our large REGULATED marketplace. We don't have an anything goes system. A lot of people argue that the MIT and the BSD licenses are better, because they have fewer restrictions (read regulations) on how the code is used. And, in fact that code has been used by MS, they like those licenses. They used the BSD, internet stack for years (still do for all I know). They used Kerberous (MIT license) to develop some of Active directory. But, of course they evolved those systems, changed, them, and with Active Directory, used that as a weapon to make people buy their servers. So what was the result? Software developed in an Open Source sense, was taken proprietary, by the convicted predatary monopolist, and used against everybody that competed with them. Now you can argue they were Free to do that. And, I will agree with you, and so will Eben Moglen, and Richard Stallman.
But, Richard Stallman, really isn't interested in helping MS or anybody else for that matter, use his work, to gain more contol over their customers. He's interested in building an ecosystem where more companies, and individuals, can share in the common plumbing, so that we can make that plumbing work better. That is why the GPL has restrictions. And, I would argue that the GPL has done something that all the others can't. They allow big very competitive companies to work together on the basic things, (what I have referred to as plumbing, that is operating systems, Network protocols, Security softwaree, encryption algorithms, File systems, Programming languages, Programming tools, Office suites, Office suite file formats, etc). That is why IBM can contribute to Linux. Because they know that they are making a basic thing better, and it can't be used against them. And, if Sun adopts GPLV3 for Solaris, You'll get to see Linux and Solaris cross polinate, and make both of those 2 systems better (probably eventually merge).
So if you want to argue for Anarchy, and you like it when the bully comes in, and pushes you around, keep arguing how you like the reaaly free licenses, like BSD. If you want live and work in an environment, of courtesy, and civility, where an improvement helps everybody eeually, then wake up, and realize that this is what Richard Stallman, and Eban Moglen are fighting for.