EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

08.27.09

Why is IDG News Service Attacking the GPL?

Posted in FSF, FUD, GPL, Law, Microsoft at 9:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Richard Stallman

Summary: The smears against the GPL need tracing back to their roots

FOR people’s awareness, it seems important to alert that attacks on the GPL have risen in number. These are not the typical attacks and they are accompanied by personal attacks, as stated earlier.

We found out that a PR agency from the United States is sending people semi-personalised press releases about a debate which seems hostile towards the GPL, based on the participants (what’s called a “stacked panel”). Somehow they ended up getting my E-mail address, scooping it from somewhere and then striving to promote this nonsense, which they did. It came from IDG (which relies on Microsoft as a large revenue source [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and also employs Microsoft/Apple investors as writers). IDG is being mentioned in the form of InfoWorld, which also fed this to the news feeds. It was IDG that published and spread an article which was moronic, boldly stating in the headline, “is the GPL irrelevant?”

“It was IDG that published and spread an article which was moronic, boldly stating in the headline, “is the GPL irrelevant?””That was of course a nonsensical contention to start an article with. The GPL is used by most Free/open source software projects and it is by far the most ubiquitous software licence in the world. How does irrelevance come into it?

Attacks on the GPL and anything and anyone associated with it are not news.

Black Duck — with some roots in Microsoft — was funneling in Microsoft-centered code automatically (no filtering) to saturate its pool and then claim a dip in GPL. This deceptive claim is still being parroted today and also today we’ve heard of private stories where similar anti-GPL actions were taken in Europe. Programmers are being pressured by bosses (maybe Microsoft-guided) to abandon the licence, maybe because of all the FUD, some of which comes from Microsoft lawyers [1, 2]. Such dissemination of lies (or myths) about the GPL leads to further misuse and misappropriation, as expressed in the following new story:

A report published Sunday in The New York Times says Aleynikov told FBI investigators that he had inadvertently taken about 32MB of proprietary Goldman Sachs software while taking open-source code that he said can be used freely by anyone.

Aleynikov, a high-level developer for Goldman Sachs, was arrested by the FBI on July 3 on charges of stealing computer code that automates the firm’s high-volume trading on stock and commodities markets.

As Sam Dean puts it:

The case discussed in the post concerns a Goldman Sachs Group programmer, Sergey Aleynikov, who was arrested–by the FBI, no less–and charged with stealing computer code designed to automate Goldman Sachs’ massive trading business. Aleynikov’s defense was that he was only trying to download open source software governed by the GPL.

The truth — or at least the verdict — remains to be seen, but why is it that the perception of free as "illegal" lives on?

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 28, 2009 at 5:50 am

    Gravatar

    Here is Matt Asay perpetuating the same deception from Black Duck. From the comments (one sole comment at the moment):

    Matt:
    With all due respect, your analysis is based on flawed data.

    You got your data from http://www.blackducksoftware.com/oss/licenses#top20

    What do these license statistics tell us?
    What are they based on?
    A number of project?

    A number of projects downloaded and used in the real life? a numberof new projects?
    or just a number of projects that have been randomly added in some blackduck repo?

    Does this reflect any kind of actual usage of GPL vs other licenses?

    Does this reflect the importance of a project?

    For instance if the Linux is Kernel is one project, does it count as one in a breakdown of projects licenses?

    Note, the stats that blackduck publishes tell that the Microsoft public license (MsPL) is really quite popular. The fact is that the MsPL license became popular in blackduck stats the day blackduck started indexing the Microsoft supported Codeplex, a site with a strong bias towards the MsPL.
    ( see http://port25.technet.com/archive/2009/07/07/codeplex-10-000-hosted-projects-and-counting.aspx )

    What kind of a joke this is? This is a bad quacking from a badduck.
    Lies, damned lies, and statistics, imho.

    Short of having any element of answers to these questions, the conclusions you draw from lying stats are baseless.

    Philippe

What Else is New


  1. Microsoft's Vista 10 Still a Failure, So Focus Shifts to Attacks on GNU/Linux, Android

    Vista 10 adoption is already plateauing (at very low levels considering the zero-cost 'upgrade') and Microsoft is trying to assert or exploit (patent) monopolies where adoption and market growth are extremely high (Free software)



  2. Links 3/9/2015: Xiaomi's Linux Push, Calligra/Krita 2.9.7

    Links for the day



  3. TechBytes Episode 89: Chromebooks, Privacy, and Vista 10

    An episode which focuses on the rise of Chromebooks, serious issues pertaining to privacy, media bias, and the demise of Windows



  4. Links 2/9/2015: Chromebooks and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2 Beta

    Links for the day



  5. Software Patent From Troll Called 'Rothschild Connected Devices Innovations' a Symptom of a Rotten Patent System

    Another example of patent trolls and software patents as gatekeepers and parasites, denying access to very trivial ideas or implementations



  6. When Even Patent Lawyers' Blogs Acknowledge the Rapid Demise of Software Patents

    Voices for patents are accepting the new order wherein software patents are hardly potent at all (and increasingly difficult to acquire)



  7. Calling Proprietary Software, Software Patents, Lock-in (Like OOXML) and DRM 'Open'

    What Microsoft et al. call 'Next-Generation Open Media Formats' are basically neither open nor acceptable (it's DRM) and what Microsoft apologists dub 'Open Source Tools' are just another example of a Microsoft Office openwashing Trojan horse



  8. Recycled Old News About Vista 10, Stressing That Not Only '10' is Spyware But All of Windows is

    How Microsoft propagandists are spinning Microsoft's gross and potentially illegal privacy violations as a reason to 'upgrade' to Vista 10



  9. Links 1/9/2015: Manjaro Linux 0.8.13, Netrunner 14.2 LTS

    Links for the day



  10. Patents Roundup: IAM's Claims About India, Lawyers' Patent Bias, ITC for Microsoft, and PTAB Against Kyle Bass

    Another weekly summary, focusing on issues that pertain to or affect Free software in particular



  11. Microsoft Crowd Rocks the Media With Misleading Claims and Deliberate Lies About GNU/Linux, Vista 10, and Free/Open Source Software

    A roundup of rigged press coverage, intended purely to serve Microsoft's agenda



  12. Links 31/8/2015: Linux 4.2, LXLE 14.04.3

    Links for the day



  13. IRC Proceedings: August 9th, 2015 – August 29th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  14. “Conservative” Site Responds (Yet Again) to Misguided “Conservative” Efforts to Derail Patent Reform in the US

    Patent trolls throw stones in glass houses, contributing to their own unpopularity, but some influential “Conservatives” continue to defend (conserve) them



  15. Increase in Lobbying for Software Patents in Europe and Its Trojan Horse, the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The relentless campaigns to bring software patents into Europe have not stopped and so-called 'unification' -- much like so-called 'trade' deals -- serves to support them



  16. Microsoft Technology Crashes Financial Markets, Again

    SunGard, which is a Microsoft shop, is clearly failing to provide what it calls mission-ciriticaal [sic] solutions



  17. Alice v. CLS Bank (Alice/§101) Comes to Squash Software Patents Even in Eastern District of Texas

    The crackdown on software patents is coming along nicely and the Alice case is now being utilised even in the capital of patent trolls



  18. Apple's Patent Cases Against Android Are Falling Apart, as Acknowledged Even by the Anti-Android Lobby





  19. Links 29/8/2015: NetworkManager 1.0.6, Systemd Merges “su” Command Replacement

    Links for the day



  20. Microsoft Loves Linux to Death and Still Tries to Kill GNU/Linux

    Microsoft's relentless attacks on GNU/Linux and Free software in general (even if it runs on Windows) are so evident that claims of 'love' remain laughable at best (if not infuriating)



  21. Censorship, Self-Censorship and Intimidation Now the Modus Operandi at EPO

    The European Patent Office has ceased even trying to pretend that it respects human rights, including the right to free speech



  22. Patent Practitioners: "The Unitary Patent Might be Able to Open the Floodgates for Software Patents in Europe"

    The EPO-backed Unitary Patent scheme threatens to bring software patents to Europe and along with them a lot of patent trolls from all around the world (especially the United States)



  23. Microsoft Lies About Vista 10 and Increases Microsoft Surveillance (Even Beyond Vista 10 and Into Android, Vista 7/8)

    Windows surveillance expands retroactively, making its way into platforms other than Windows and also expanding to predecessors of Vista 10



  24. Another Suicide at the EPO, Fifth by Our Count

    Yet another EPO member of staff has just committed suicide, leading to the inevitable question: how many people need to die before Battistelli and his minions are out of the Office for good?



  25. Links 27/8/2015: ownCloud Desktop Client 2.0, Red Hat Downgraded

    Links for the day



  26. Microsoft-connected Mesosphere Threatens to Eliminate Free Software in the Datacentre

    Hiding behind a misleading 'open' label while actually backed by Microsoft (and based on new rumours may join Microsoft), Mesosphere wishes to eradicate Free and back doors-free software in large datacentres hosting a lot of physical and virtual servers



  27. Microsoft Aggression Against GNU/Linux Amid Vista 10's Failure

    A look at the recent assault on GNU/Linux in Munich and the likely cause for this assault (in such a timely fashion, too)



  28. Message to LinuxCon Regarding Microsoft: “It is Necessary to Get Behind Someone in Order to Stab Them in the Back.” -Sir Humphrey Appleby

    Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, helps Microsoft gain influence in the Foundation after payments are received



  29. Market Share Estimates Confirm That Vista 10 Failed in a Major Way

    Confirmatory evidence that Vista 10 is failing in the market about a month after its much-hyped (paid coverage) release



  30. When Microsoft, the Master of Patent Trolls, Complains About Trolls

    Possibly the world's biggest patent abuser and monopolist, which also creates many patent trolls (including by far the biggest one), takes on a far smaller abuser in Court


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts