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09.03.19

Openwashing Report: The Linux Foundation Champions Openwashing of GPL-Violating VMware

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, Kernel, Law, VMware at 11:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Weekly openwashing report

Summary: The Jim Zemlin/PR-led Linux Foundation is profiting from openwashing services (for VMware) and at the same time it’s banishing critics of VMware, in effect proving just how corruptible (for a fee) the Foundation really is

THE first part about IBM and the previous (second) part about Microsoft highlighted the fact that the Linux Foundation (LF) is little more than a Public Relations (PR) operation. Sure, LF pays the salaries of a few software developers, but those are less than 5% of the Foundation's expenses. Jim Zemlin himself is a high earner; his wife too receives massive salaries, sometimes as a General Manager at close partners of Microsoft. Never anything FOSS…

“Sure, LF pays the salaries of a few software developers, but those are less than 5% of the Foundation’s expenses.”Speaking of companies that almost never do anything FOSS… how about VMware? Well, VMware is a helluva lot worse because it’s one of the best known cases of serial GPL infringements (for many years). Microsoft did that too, but Microsoft is Microsoft and many expect it not only to violate the GPL but actively attack the GPL, usually through proxies such as Black Duck.

Let’s look at what the LF does to ‘naughty boy’ VMware for its violations of the GPL and also recall some crucial history/background.

VMware

For those who don’t know, VMware paid the Linux Foundation a lot of money and got rid of Sandler (community). She’s no longer in the Board. Nobody from the community is in the Board, which is stacked by large corporations. LF is nothing but a corporate front group now. VMware paid, whereupon all those ‘undesirable’ community folks were removed or could no longer be elected.

But it gets worse; It also managed to defund the employer of Sandler, which actively defends the licence of Linux. What is the Linux Foundation good for or who is it good for? Of course this entire scandal about GPL enforcement is old. It’s clear that the Foundation is actively hostile towards GNU-type stuff it builds upon. That’s where we are today. The Linux Foundation not only tolerates GPL violations (Bruce Perens called the LF “an infringers’ club”). Due to bribes it became an advocate for the biggest GPL violators. The LF works for companies that actively attack the GPL. Those who don’t see a problem with it and participate in this abuse are trolls at best.

“The LF works for companies that actively attack the GPL.”We shouldn’t be surprised by the latest from TFiR. The Linux Foundation-connected Swapnil is again promoting proprietary software PR for a GPL violator. VP Product Management at VMware gets a platform for “Major Announcements” (proprietary obviously). He’s in their pockets, so what else can be expected? It’s a whole raft of nonsense from their event. Proprietary obviously…

It’s not just Swapnil by the way; The Linux Foundation-connected ‘news’ sites are also openwashing this serial GPL violator. Swapnil has already admitted that he received sponsorship from the LF to do this (and we know VMware funds the LF, so join the dots).

The LF staff is very well aware of VMware’s abuses (it’s a serial GPL violator like Microsoft), but it helps the violator leverage other people’s FOSS for openwashing purposes, as can be seen here (one week ago).

“The LF staff is very well aware of VMware’s abuses (it’s a serial GPL violator like Microsoft)…”Open Source isn’t the only buzzword/hype wave that this GPL violator is misusing. Blockchain also (another example from the same day).

More vomit-inducing openwashing could be found here last week. Headline: “Pat Gelsinger vows to upgrade VMware’s once ‘bad’ open-source rep to the ‘very’ best by 2021″

Promises, promises. Didn’t they promise GPL compliance of some sort about a decade ago (people had been pointing out these infractions since more than a decade ago)? That never happened. To quote this article/puff piece: “Ahead of day-two of VMware’s VMworld 2019 conference in San Francisco, CEO Pat Gelsinger promised to further overhaul the virtualization giant’s reputation in the open-source world.”

What reputation? There’s none.

How does VMware plan to improve its ‘open’ image?

“They corrupt journalism and we know who facilitates (and profits from) it.”Complying with the GPL?

No.

Liberating its products?

No.

Bribing more groups like the Linux Foundation in exchange for shallow openwashing PR (from LF associates like Swapnil) and hiring FOSS-affiliated people like Dirk Hohndel to tell lies to LF associates (on camera). They don’t try to actually improve their reputation but to buy reputation. They corrupt journalism and we know who facilitates (and profits from) it. These people are an affront to facts and truth. They’re the ‘Donald Trumps’ of FOSS.

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