[cc-licenses] NonDerivative NonCommercial Licenses

Terry Hancock hancock at anansispaceworks.com
Tue Mar 28 19:00:44 EST 2006

drew Roberts wrote:

>On Tuesday 28 March 2006 12:00 am, Greg London wrote:
>>Linux started out with some political motivation
>>of "Putting Microsoft out of business", but for
>>it to survive in the long run, thankfully the
>>GNU-GPL license was chosen, so that when the
>>political motivation went away, the project was still
>>empowered to succeed as as possible.
>where are you getting this history of Linux from?
Don't know, but it's pretty clearly false. Linux started in (IIRC) 1991, 
which means Windows 3.1 was the current Microsoft flagship product, and 
I doubt Linus Torvalds was using it at all.  He started creating Linux 
as a "terminal server" on the Minix platform, according to his own 
account, and it gradually turned into an operating system built around 
Minix. Then he eventually turned it into a full O/S, wrote Minix (which 
was not freely distributable at the time -- I don't know what it's 
current status is) out of it, and then posted to usenet looking for 
Posix specs, because he figured he might as well make it conform to the 
standard (which is a de jure standard based on the de facto standard of 

So, I think as far as Linux Torvalds was concerned, Microsoft wasn't 
even on his radar.  Poltically, Torvalds is pretty moderate -- I don't 
think he really cares what Microsoft does as long as it doesn't 
interfere with Linux. I suppose he must have some stake in the 
competition *now* since he's had the good fortune to be employed 
full-time on his brainchild, Linux, and would lose some of that status 
if Linux were to lose its financial importance. But that's very much a 
2nd order effect.

Richard Stallman, on the other hand, is clearly a politically-motivated, 
even radical, individual. But he started the Gnu project in the early 
1980s, when even Windows 3.1 was well in the future. The "bad guys" he 
was concerned about were the commercial Unix vendors (but I think he was 
more broad-focused than that).  Major proprietary software institutions 
at that time included Sun, IBM, and Apple among others, but Microsoft 
was a small fry (I actually *liked* Microsoft back then -- they made a 
nice BASIC interpreter for my TRS-80 Color Computer, which is what I 
learned to program on). Once again, not even on the radar.


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