[cc-licenses] NonDerivative NonCommercial Licenses

Greg London email at greglondon.com
Tue Mar 28 18:56:47 EST 2006

Linux started with nothing but political motivations
by Richard Stallman that being that software should
be free. I'm not even sure if Stallman even supports
any sort of copyrighted software other than to use
copyright to create a copyleft license.

In any event, the GNU manifesto available here
states, and I quote:

>GNU will remove operating system software from the
>realm of competition. You will not be able to get
>an edge in this area, but neither will your
>competitors be able to get an edge over you.
>You and they will compete in other areas, while
>benefiting mutually in this one. If your business
>is selling an operating system, you will not like
>GNU, but that's tough on you. If your business is
>something else, GNU can save you from being pushed
>into the expensive business of selling operating systems.

So clearly his sight were set on operating systems
in general. At some point, it seems around the time
that Linux was getting outside of the pure geek
circles, when Red Hat was giving it some legitimacy,
and when there started to be *users* of linux,
it was about the same time that it started coming out
that Microsoft had "jinxed" windows so that it would
detect whether it was being run on MS-DOS or DR-DOS.
This story was passed around as an example of why
proprietary software is evil, and became further
political motivation for Linux contributers.

Somewhere along the line, Linux matured beyond the
hacker culture and beyond the initial small sets
of users and became a real OS. And somewhere along
that time, it became clear that Linux would have
problems implementing Microsoft functionality when
software patents got in the way. Drivers were always
short in coming. and other issues reared their ugly
heads that it was obvious that Linux was not going
to replace Microsoft as the user desktop operating
system any time in the immediate future.

I recall reading articles around this time that were
by linux proponents who were basically accepting this
fact and who were attempting to change the political
motivation of linux contributers, saying "It isn't
about putting Microsoft out of business, its about ____"
for whatever value of "____" they came up with.

So, linux didn't start out specifically aimed at
Microsoft, but at Operating Systems in general.
And as far as linux "starting" out that way,
I should have been a little more verbose and said
something along the lines of "when Linux had a
growth spurt and it expanded to the non-geeks
and users". It is around this time that I woudl say
Linux actually became a sustainable and self-sufficient
gift economy, instead of just a politically motivated
project of a few individuals and hard core programmers.

So take
"Linux started out with some political motivation
of "Putting Microsoft out of business",

and replace it with
"Linux started out with some political motivations
of putting Operating Systems companies out of business."

And if you feel like it, add
"those motivations grew to include Microsoft,
but was later redirected to non-political motivations."

apologies for any confusion I created.

> 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.

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