At times when we speak about the exploitation (sometimes even restriction) of Free software, not only is the GNU GPLv3 needed. There is also the need to urge people to honour and contribute back Free software. A couple of days ago, O’Reilly’s folks at OSCON got blasted for losing focus.
That very speech served as O’Reilly’s attempt to make up for his evisceration as the hands of Free Software Foundation attorney Eben Moglen. One day earlier, Moglen charged O’Reilly with wasting too much time on hem lines, haircuts and the latest fluffy Web 2.0 start-up that looks like it might be acquired for a ridiculous amount of cash. O’Reilly had no counter on the actual day of Moglen’s attack, but thought about the issues overnight.
Surely, in this context, Novell deserves a warning or two as well. Its executives became selfish and arrogant. They ignored and betrayed the spirit of Free software, practically choosing to go against it and then exploit this betrayal, using it as a competitive advantage. Shane mentioned this yesterday.
Only a month or so ago, Professor Moglen had some criticisms addressed and directed at Google. He said that they need to give back more. A few days ago, the following video was uploaded to Google. The video’s availability is new, but the talk itself is about 4 months old. Many topics are covered in this talk, with particular emphasis on large-scale computing and Free software in an age of connected services.
Apologies in advance to all those who loathe Adobe Flash.