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Quick Mention: Miguel de Icaza Loves .NET, Dislikes GNU GPL

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GPL, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OpenDocument at 8:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Steve Ballmer scared of GPLv3

From the Novell VP who says the darnest things:

For a project of mine, this weekend I put together a command-line editing class for .NET shell applications.


It is licensed under the MIT X11 license and the Apache 2.0 license so there are no annoying licensing issues and can be mixed with anything out there.

That’s a suggestion that GPL has “annoying licensing issues.” And what's behind X11 anyway? Is this the former president (until recently) of the GNOME Foundation?

This comes a year after Miguel de Icaza’s ODF insult, to use Richard Stallman’s words:

Your insult is too vague to be checked, or refuted, but the reasons
why this question of standardization is important are very specific.
Governments around the world are interested in using an open standard
format. They have to decide whether to insist on a real open
standard, such as ODF, or accept a sham open standard, OOXML. If they
choose the former, they are likely to move somewhat to OpenOffice.
Otherwise they are likely to be stuck with Microsoft Office.

With ‘friends’ like these, need we have enemies?

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  1. TaQ said,

    August 28, 2008 at 8:17 am


    Hey, give him a chance, his boss (you know, that “Linux is a cancer” guy) told him to say that! :-)

  2. masbani said,

    August 28, 2008 at 10:48 am


    ye gods, are you stupid

  3. Victor Soliz said,

    August 28, 2008 at 7:01 pm


    masbani: I am noticing the quality of Novell’s supporters has been in free fall lately, as if you are tired of pretending you are more than zombie trolls….

  4. Victor Soliz said,

    August 28, 2008 at 7:03 pm


    It is licensed under the MIT X11 license and the Apache 2.0 license so there are no annoying licensing issues and can be mixed with anything out there.

    I remember the times where Novell friendlies would stand behind Icaza and say it is not true he FUDs the GPL, but this time, I doubt anyone can deny, such a brilliant piece of FUD Miguel, it seems he really wanted to learn more from MS.

  5. Jose_X said,

    August 29, 2008 at 10:44 pm


    These licenses (mit, etc) are used when the authors want the material to spread as much as possible as the top priority, eg, for building market/mind share for a protocol or standard, ie, for mono/dotregret.

    Btw, one of those that would be able to “borrow” such source code would be Microsoft. Makes sense that Miguel and others would not mind their work (but more importantly, the work of the many that might help out without costing them money) being used to help strengthen monopolies off which Miguel and friends stand to profit through their ms partnership payoffs (possibly to include stock options since $100 million in stock options (using the black-sholes model of pricing options) could easily translate into billions if msft goes up).

    See also http://boycottnovell.com/2008/08/29/mono-applications-windows-vista/

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 30, 2008 at 3:09 am


    I didn’t add this to the text above (cited it instead and talked about it in IRC), but the licence is possibly designed to permit change of ‘de facto’ ownership or control. Microsoft cannot stand the GNU GPL and, in case it buys Novell, that matters.

  7. AlexH said,

    August 30, 2008 at 4:06 am


    @Roy: totally false.

    All open source licenses are perpetual; when ownership changes, the new owner can change the license on the software but that doesn’t affect existing users.

    I’m not surprised that you don’t understand Miguel’s comment and think it FUD. Probably because you don’t know your history: when it was created, it was put under the GPL for “political” reasons, and was thus inaccessible to both proprietary apps but also non-GPL compatible open source apps (e.g., Apache-licensed apps) and also to those non-copylefted projects who didn’t want to be forced to release under the GPL (good example: http://archives.postgresql.org/pgsql-hackers/2000-12/msg01038.php).

    This rubbed some people up the wrong way, not because it was GPL, but because of how overtly the point was made. It’s a historical argument well-known amongst the free software community.

    Miguel is referring to that debate. He may not prefer the GPL, I don’t know his personal view, but his comment is about which licenses you use where in the stack, not whether or not certain licenses are good or bad.

    I’ve stopped expecting you to correct your false stories, but maybe this will help inform you in the future.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 30, 2008 at 4:10 am


    All open source licenses are perpetual; when ownership changes, the new owner can change the license on the software but that doesn’t affect existing users.

    Yes, but miss not the point that the GPL ensures there is an obligation to /keep/ it open.

    Microsoft has already ‘closed-sourced’ some BSD code.

  9. AlexH said,

    August 30, 2008 at 4:14 am


    The GPL doesn’t have any such obligation, sorry Roy.

    If you are the copyright owner, you can change the license to a closed license and make all your future releases under that.

    The GPL copyleft works only “against” non-copyright owners. No copyright license can restrict the activity of the rightful copyright owner.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 30, 2008 at 4:32 am


    Okay, so you seem to be suggesting that if Microsoft buys Novell, then it can change Mono’s licence and close it regardless.

  11. Dan O'Brian said,

    August 30, 2008 at 6:06 am


    I hate to say it, but “Duh” at Roy’s last comment.

    Iff Microsoft were to buy Novell, everything that Novell has copyright ownership of, they could relicense – regardless of whether it is GPL or not.

    I honestly cannot believe that this is “news” to anyone, it’s so fundamental.

    FWIW, since Mono is LGPL and MIT/X11 licensed – if Microsoft were to buy Novell (or even if they don’t), you could fork Mono and relicense GPLv3 because neither license has any restriction against doing so.

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