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Re: [vox] Gates on Linux & Sco
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Re: [vox] Gates on Linux & Sco



I never cease to be amazed at how the mainstream media seem to universally 
suffer from Jack Valenti disease - just reprint whatever they say without 
challenging them because we don't really understand the subject in question 
and we don't want to expend the effort required to do so. Jack Valenti has 
been given the same carte blanche in the past, although certain members of 
the press are finally beginning to see through his misleading verbage.

Bill Gates has seen enough info on Linux for the last 5 years to know that, 
while there is a kernel of truth (pun unintended) in what he's saying, he is 
giving disingenuous commentary at best and sometimes outright lies.

On Sunday 27 July 2003 23:13, Bill Kendrick wrote:
> So there's an article where Bill Gates is quoted regarding the Linux/SCO
> issue [
> http://www.crn.com/sections/BreakingNews/dailyarchives.asp?ArticleID=43532
> ], and I read this:
>
>   "Under the GPL, all tweaks and applications developed for the operating
> system must be released to the community."

He knows this is false. He knows that applications developed for Linux do not 
have to be released under the GPL. Of course, leading off the sentence with 
"Under the GPL..." is sufficiently fuzzy to not be an outright lie. The 
verbage is not precise and the reader doesn't know which part he's referring 
to as being under the GPL, the apps and tweaks or the OS. The implication, 
unfortunately, is that you can't develop apps for Linux without releasing 
them under the GPL. This is where reporters would do well to understand the 
subject matter.

> I wonder... is this a lack of understanding on the part of Gates, or the
> author of the article?

It's Billy G. taking advantage of the reporter's lack of knowledge.

>
>
> Another line, directly quoting Gates, goes:
>
>   "'One thing about the GPL is that you can't just license IBM Linux, or
> Red Hat Linux,' Gates said.  'The way the GPL works, if you license any
> Linux, you have to license all Linux.'"

Make a sentence sufficiently fuzzy, and you can say whatever the hell you 
want. Billy G. must be taking lessons from Billy C. :@) 

We know that IBM can make a proprietary doodad in a Linux distro that you 
could only get by licensing from IBM. Once again, however, the introductory 
clause "The way the GPL works..." is a nice CYA that is also unchallenged by 
whoever wrote the article.

> Just ranting,

Ranting isn't enough. Someone needs to buy a cluestick and apply it to the 
media.

-JM

-- 
John Mark Walker	:	No Starch Press
Acquisitions Editor	:	415-863-9900
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