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06.05.20

When You Realise People Who Don’t Support RMS Do Not Really Support GNU, Either

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, IBM, Microsoft, Petitions, Red Hat at 11:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“If in my lifetime the problem of non-free software is solved, I could perhaps relax and write software again. But I might instead try to help deal with the world’s larger problems. Standing up to an evil system is exhilarating, and now I have a taste for it.”

Richard Stallman

Puppy and evil dog: 2019: We want GNU that works for everyone, 2020: We want to replace GNU

Jeff Law signed

Jeff Law for LLVM

IBM for LLVM

Summary: The (in)famous letter against Richard Stallman (RMS), which was signed by many Red Hat employees with Microsoft (GitHub) accounts, doesn’t look particularly good in light of recent revelations/findings; it increasingly looks like IBM simply wants Microsoft-hosted and “permissively” licensed stuff, just like another project it announced yesterday [1, 2] and another that it promoted yesterday

06.04.20

Red Hat/IBM Got ‘Tired’ of RMS. Is It Getting ‘Tired’ of GPL/Copyleft Too?

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, IBM, Red Hat at 10:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: Diversity Comes in Many Forms

GCC and Fedora

Summary: After contributing to the cancellation of Richard Stallman (RMS) based on some falsehoods perpetuated in the media we’re seeing the sort of thing one might expect from IBM (more so now that it totally controls Fedora and RHEL)

SOME hours ago Phoronix pointed out, based on this new page (preserved above as a screenshot as it’s a wiki that can change frequently): “A feature proposal raised by Red Hat’s Jeff Law would allow Fedora packages to be built under the LLVM Clang compiler rather than defaulting that all packages to be built under GCC. Clang-built packages would happen where the upstream software recommends using Clang by default or for software without an upstream to let the packager(s) make their own decision.”

Jeff Law is a compilers geek.

Unless IBM intends to somehow (or some time down the line) replace GNU/copyleft/GCC with LLVM Clang, what’s the point of this proposal? Well, take a wild guess. Consider where IBM stands on these issues, more so than Red Hat.

Having built a digital empire on top of GNU (lots of volunteer labour in the 1980s onwards), are they now drifting back to proprietary mindsets via “permissive” licensing (permitting going dark)? Of course it’s also Microsoft-hosted (GitHub, proprietary)…

Maybe this is all innocent and benign; time will tell…

05.26.20

The GitHub Takeover Was an Extension of Microsoft’s War on GPL/Copyleft (Because Sharing Code to Anyone But Microsoft is ‘Piracy’)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, GPL, Law, Microsoft at 11:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Shortly after the takeover was announced Microsoft managers also told me explicitly that they’d discourage GPL

Dutton before and after: We're releasing our source code; hmmm... someone has turned that into proprietary software

Summary: Licences that make it easier for Microsoft to ‘steal’ (or a lot harder for Free software to compete against proprietary software) are still being promoted by Microsoft; its GitHub tentacles (see GitHub’s logo) further contribute to this agenda

WHEN FUD from Microsoft ‘proxies’ like Black Duck and WhiteSource isn’t enough to keep developers and companies off copyleft (as adopters or releasers) there’s GitHub to make decisions or choices for people. RMS (Stallman) warned about this half a decade ago. Now that Microsoft controls GitHub the matter becomes ever more urgent.

“RMS (Stallman) warned about this half a decade ago. Now that Microsoft controls GitHub the matter becomes ever more urgent.”With some exceptions, like EA choosing GPLv3 for its latest code release, we too often hear about companies and governments* “going open” by basically shelving source code in the proprietary software trap of Microsoft (GitHub), often under a so-called ‘permissive’ licence (which means Microsoft can take it, change it, give nothing back). This is the wet dream of proprietary software giants. Free code! Not free as in freedom. Free as in “people out there will fix bugs for us” and “give us code” (to improve our proprietary software that these people will later need to pay for). This ‘labour farming’ practice has long been encouraged by Microsoft and others.

If you do not support these sorts of scams, delete GitHub (well, technically it's not truly possible). Then, choose licences Microsoft et al hate the most. Those licences are most effective at putting an end to proprietary software. That’s why they hate such licences so much. The InnerSource Commons (ISC), run by a Bill Gates lackey, shows us what they’re pushing for; the person previously (at Sun Microsystems, now part of Oracle Corporation) crafted a licence whose goal was to be as incompatible as possible with GPL**. Black Duck was, by its own admission, created by a Microsoft guy to discourage and exterminate GPL. Those aren’t even secrets; it’s all in the public domain.
_____
* The Government of India now gives Microsoft control over its mass surveillance tool, as covered hours ago in [1, 2].

** As per Wikipedia: “Simon Phipps (Sun’s Chief Open Source Officer at the time), who had introduced Cooper as “the one who actually wrote the CDDL”,[19] did not immediately comment, but later in the same video, he says, referring back to the license issue, “I actually disagree with Danese to some degree”,[20] while describing the strong preference among the engineers who wrote the code for a BSD-like license, which was in conflict with Sun’s preference for something copyleft, and that waiting for legal clearance to release some parts of the code under the then unreleased GNU GPL v3 would have taken several years, and would probably also have involved mass resignations from engineers (unhappy with either the delay, the GPL, or both—this is not clear from the video). Later, in September 2006, Phipps rejected Cooper’s assertion in even stronger terms.[21] Similarly, Bryan Cantrill, who was on Sun at that time and involved in the release of CDDL licensed software stated in 2015 that he and his colleagues expected in 2006 the fast emerge of CDDL licensed software into the Linux ecosystem and the CDDL being not an obstacle.[22]“

05.05.20

GNU is Not Linux and Microsoft’s Linux Entryism Does Not Directly Impact GNU

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, VMware at 10:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Linus Benedict Torvalds was only 14 when GNU started and nowadays several of his bosses work for Microsoft

When they call your 1983 project Linux; Then say you started the 'Open Source' movement

Summary: The destination of the GNU Project, led by its founder Dr. Stallman (RMS), does not depend strongly on what happens to Linux, a project still (mostly) led by Mr. Torvalds, whose control over it slips away

THE Linux Foundation has just announced a new survey (we put that in Daily Links a moment ago), which is funded and managed by VMware, a GPL violator that the Foundation helps in exchange for money. Those violators come from Microsoft.

“Very few GNU projects come ‘in contact’ with Microsoft through GitHub.”The way we see it, Linux is in some sense ‘compromised’, but GNU can still remain independent and it’s mostly separate(d) from Microsoft, as we noted in part 1 and part 2 of an ongoing series that’s separate. Very few GNU projects come ‘in contact’ with Microsoft through GitHub. Hopefully that number will remain small; the FSF is working on a libre social media-like alternative to GitHub. Better late than never, right?

GNU does not depend on Linux. It never did.

“All we can do is highlight these issues, hoping that broader exposure of all those underlying dangers will discourage the perpetrators.”Torvalds no longer has much of a say inside the Foundation. In 2018 he received a ‘warning shot’ and he has been a lot more docile since then. As for RMS? Well, Dr. Stallman still speaks to people and he’s starting to appear in public again, albeit his talks are being delayed/cancelled due to the pandemic.

We hope that Linux developers will manage to ‘shake off’ these entryism attempts (takeover by Linux foes), but judging by recent events we’re not too optimistic. All we can do is highlight these issues, hoping that broader exposure of all those underlying dangers will discourage the perpetrators.

GNU stands for “GNU is not UNIX” — a recursive acronym. But it’s important to also remember that GNU is not Linux and GNU programs aren’t “Linux commands” — a common misperception/misconception/misrepresentation trotted forth by misleading media.

If Microsoft manages to undermine Linux, GNU will certainly have a number of contingencies. Linux is GPL (copyleft) and the licence is compatible with GNU. So hypothetically even a fork is feasible (shall the need for it arise, whereupon many developers can ‘defect’ to it).

So, in summary, don’t think that the attack on control/leverage over Linux impacts GNU directly. GNU, still led by RMS, is going strong.

05.01.20

The High Cost of Taking Microsoft Cash to Sell Them Keynotes in Copyleft Conf

Posted in GPL, Microsoft at 9:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The money came with strings of course and the warnings are very old

Look at us! We have money! Microsoft money! Nobody wants to become a member anymore

Summary: The real cost of Microsoft’s tainted money may take time to become apparent; Software Freedom Conservancy will learn that the hard way (the Linux Foundation was a cautionary tale)

04.30.20

Platinum (Top) Sponsors of Copyleft Conf Are Companies That Attack Copyleft’s Father, Richard Stallman

Posted in FSF, Google, GPL, Microsoft at 8:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nothing says “copyleft” conference like a repeated GPL violator with a history of attacks on copyleft… at the very top of your page with a massive logo

Copyleft Conf
Source: 2020.copyleftconf.org/sponsors

Summary: If it smells like a rotten plot, then it might as well be one; software freedom won’t be guarded by companies that internally ban the GPL and coordinate public smear attacks on it (as well as its creator)

THERE is something truly disturbing going on at SFC. It’s not new. We mentioned it before. Other people also habitually mention it. SFC has a growing problem of trust or crisis of confidence because people out there aren’t sure what it stands for or who it stands for. Longtime readers are likely familiar with more recent blunders.

Why does SFC take Microsoft money? What does that mean to SFC? What might that say about the origins of Copyleft Conf and its purpose? Remember that in order to keep money coming next year (as well as other future years) they might as well be careful what they publicly say about Microsoft and about its record, e.g. bribery, antitrust abuses, work that kills people and various obvious crimes (with convictions).

The above may not seem like much; after all, it’s less than “slush funds” to Microsoft. But it’s a lot of money for SFC. It helps pay the rent, food and so on. It can make SFC almost dependent on Microsoft. And that’s a problem.

Remember that in politics or political spheres this is how the most classic and likely most common form of bribery works.

We’ve asked SFC for comment on this; we gave them a chance to explain or to clarify. Half a day later the Conservancy’s staff has not replied to this request for comment, so we decided to go ahead with the story and actually type it up. We also extended the offer for response several more hours. So remember; we politely reached out for comment, but they refuse to even explain the above. Microsoft is undoubtedly behind several anti-GPL campaigns, so SFC cannot just claim that Microsoft changed; Microsoft just gave them “some change” (small money or pocket money to Microsoft, but a lot to SFC). All those anti-GPL GitHub-based ‘studies’ remind us that the GPL-hostile agenda of Microsoft has only been taken up several more notches in recent years; those are all Microsoft. Microsoft isn’t only a GPL violator; Microsoft got caught several times.

Why is Microsoft’s name at the very top of a page of something called “Copyleft Conf”? We could go ahead and remark/criticise some of the speakers, but this article can be more powerful when it is impersonal, focusing on issues and companies, nothing ad hominem at all. The Linux Foundation likes to personify some of the bad things it does; that’s a trap. And we won’t fall into it.

So why is an anti-GPL company a “Platinum Sponsor” of this event? That’s an odd thing for something called “Software Freedom Conservancy” to do. But remember that those are the same people who pushed Richard Stallman out of the FSF. Notice how also Salesforce creeps it; it’s the company whose high-level staff did the same, pushing hard for Stallman to be kicked out along with anyone who supports him. This is well documented. So what the heck is this event anyway? Why is it controlled and led by such companies? And not for the first time (we mentioned this before, after the first such event); Microsoft and Google were there last year as well. Yes, the first one was also funded by Microsoft and one might theorise who came up with the idea of having such an event and raise funds for it. Yesterday the SFC wrote about it, as did few others online, mostly in social control media. The E-mail message from Deb Nicholson was reprinted by LWN and it says this:

URL: https://sfconservancy.org/news/2020/apr/29/cc2video/

In February, we ran our second annual [Copyleft Conf](
https://2020.copyleftconf.org/). Thanks to our program committee; Molly
de Blanc, Beth Flanagan, Bradley Kuhn, Deb Nicholson, Nithya Ruff, Josh
Simmons and Haralde Welte, the [schedule](
https://2020.copyleftconf.org/schedule/) was both bold and timely. We
are happy to announce that all the videos of this year’s sessions are
now [available for you to watch.](https://2020.copyleftconf.org/video)

This year’s [keynote](
https://archive.org/details/copyleftconf2020-sebro) was delivered by
[Tony Sebro](https://wikimediafoundation.org/profile/tony-sebro/), who
is Vice President of Counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation, former
General Counsel of Conservancy, and serves on the Outreachy organizer’s
committee. In his talk, Tony wonders whether the community around
copyleft, like those around eschatology and Afro-centric hip-hop, has
lost it’s center and how we might entice new stakeholders to reinvest
in our shared values. His keynote is a great place to start with this
year’s videos.

We also want to especially thank Coraline Ada Ehmke for participating
in Copyleft Conf. She describes our responsibility as technologists and
shared her plan for building a movement to keep technology from being
used by bad actors. Both [her talk](
https://archive.org/details/copyleftconf2020-ehmke) and the [community
discussion](
https://archive.org/details/copyleftconf2020-ethical-lice…) that
followed are available to watch now. The passionate conversation around
ethical licensing was cited by many as a highlight of the conference
and we’re glad we were able to host it at Copyleft Conf.

In case you missed it, our first year’s keynote was Molly de Blanc.
She’s the Manager of Strategic Initiatives at GNOME Foundation. There
was [a Faifcast episode](http://faif.us/cast/2019/may/31/0×68/) where
Bradley and Karen discuss her talk, “The Margins of Software Freedom”
coupled with an onsite interview. Many of the 2019 Copyleft Conf videos
are also [available to watch.](https://2020.copyleftconf.org/video)

We have no way of knowing what 2021 will mean for in-person events, but
we will continue to advocate for and discuss copyleft as a tool for
software freedom — stay in touch by following us on [Mastodon](
https://mastodon.technology/@conservancy) or [Twitter](
https://twitter.com/conservancy) or swing by #conservancy on
freenode.net to talk with folks in real time, any time, but [especially
on Thursdays at 6pm UTC.](

https://sfconservancy.org/blog/2020/mar/12/virtualchat/)

About Conservancy

Conservancy is a resourceful, non-profit organization dedicated to
helping people take control of their computing experience by growing
the software freedom movement, supporting community-driven alternatives
to proprietary software and defending free software builders with
practical initiatives. Conservancy believes that the future of software
should be for everyone.


Deb Nicholson <deb@sfconservancy.org>
Software Freedom Conservancy

It may sound all happy and fun, but watch who sponsored this thing (huge logo of Microsoft at the very top; depending on one’s browser it can fill up the whole page!); the event’s message is shrewdly disguised as “ethics” and tolerance; but deep inside the people who run this event and sponsor this event know what they seek to accomplish. Remember VMware‘s deliberate GPL violations and cover-up that we uncovered earlier this week. SFC probably won’t resume litigation and there’s a strong Microsoft connection, which we explained this week.

Always follow the company’s or the institution’s revenue sources (clients, sponsors, venture capital etc.) to better understand who truly owns and controls them, at the very least by financial means post-financial crises.

I asked SFC, both in Mastodon (Fediverse) and in Twitter, why they deemed Microsoft a proper top sponsor (Platinum Sponsor) for such an event. They did not ever bother replying, so perhaps they lack an actual defense of this move.

04.28.20

The Linux Foundation Hates GPL/Copyleft Likes Its Sponsors Do (Microsoft, VMware and Others)

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, Law, Microsoft, VMware at 8:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Earlier today: The Linux Foundation Has Helped VMware Lie About Its Deliberate GPL Violations That are Connected to Microsoft, Another Prolific GPL Violator

GPL Projects pre-OSDL and GPL Projects in Linux Foundation

Summary: When institutions are the sum of their pertinent members it’s hardly surprising that the Linux Foundation became an institution against the very principles it was supposed to guard

“The Linux Foundation comes out with new projects every few months, but chronologically the last GPL’ed projects seems to be Xen. The LF keeps promoting permissive licenses in their projects under the pressure of big corporations.”informed source

“I think we just don’t care that much [about Microsoft] anymore. They used to be our big rival, but now it’s kind of like kicking a puppy.” –Jim Zemlin

The Linux Foundation Has Helped VMware Lie About Its Deliberate GPL Violations That are Connected to Microsoft, Another Prolific GPL Violator

Posted in GPL, Microsoft, VMware at 5:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related and older: The Openwashing of VMware, Sponsored by the Linux Foundation (in Turn Sponsored by VMware) | Openwashing Report: The Linux Foundation Champions Openwashing of GPL-Violating VMware

Welcome to VMWare. We violate the GPL. We cover it up. Good luck!

Summary: A former insider’s confession reveals the degree to which Microsoft/VMware people violated the GPL and then covered it up — to the point of forcing staff to lie about these GPL violations

THIS article is based on new information and it can hopefully be followed by another with leaks or further evidence. It’s based on an important confession made by a former VMware insider, responding to a well known Red Hat employee (his name does not matter to this story).

“This article is based on new information and it can hopefully be followed by another with leaks or further evidence.”To spare people unnecessary details and irrelevant context, it all started when the person said, “if there are GPL violations I am sure [Software Freedom] @conservancy would be interested…”

Remember that the Conservancy sued VMware, his employer. Once challenged by the Red Hat employee he insisted again: “I believe in informing people so they know the possible repercussions. Many many companies knowingly and purposefully violate the GPL (such as VMware when I worked there, they actually told me to lie about them using it my first day). I don’t think governments are much better [] yes, my boss at @VMware told me to not speak of the fact that they were using BusyBox illegally, and to not use email to talk about it because lawyers were reading those. They asked me to automate the deletion of LICENSE files in code repos, oh yes they did! But I wouldn’t.”

“Remember that the Conservancy sued VMware, his employer.”He later got in touch with me, seeing I was interested in this confession (years after it was legally relevant). He told me: “since you seem interested, this is when the CloudFoundry product was launched internally at VMware, 9+ yrs ago, which used BusyBox. Every developer (many dozens) knew it was wrong but just wanted their paycheck. VMware owned their souls [] you would not be surprised to hear that the person in charge at the time was ex-Microsoft and wrote large parts of the NT kernel: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Lucovsky Probably now doing the same stuff at his current job… I will let you discover where [Smiling face with open mouth and cold sweat; Face with monocle]”

He’s alluding to Mark Lucovsky, whom Steve Ballmer allegedly threw a chair at (even Wikipedia mentions this).

The Linux Foundation has become and is still becoming more rogue than rogue. It won’t talk about the GPL anymore, except when it says something negative about it (even though Linux uses it!). Mr. Zemlin should have resigned ages ago, but his “real bosses” love what he does. Microsoft people taking over VMware is a well-documented fact (we wrote many articles about it over a decade ago) and the same is true for the Foundation.

“It sure makes one wonder who really “runs the show” at the Foundation.”I’ve been in touch with the above person (again, we’re omitting names as they don’t matter to this story), noting that the Linux Foundation is nowadays anti-Linux or at least anti-GPL. Many people remember how VMware removed from the Foundation staunch supporters of the GPL.

Remember that Jim Zemlin approached (by his own admission) Microsoft’s Sam Ramji to run CloudFoundry. They’re shameless about this! And around the same time another former Microsoft/VMware executive was put in a powerful position at the Foundation with a massive salary of nearly half a million dollars per year. It sure makes one wonder who really “runs the show” at the Foundation. It calls itself “Linux”, which is more of a misleading façade considering what it does (and who for).

We hope to receive some documents and communications soon. We realise the legal risk associated with ‘leaking’ those. It takes courage (of the source, who can be intimidated, e.g. withdrawal of pension).

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