Bill Gates

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Bill Gates is the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation. He and his father have tremendous political influence, which they also practice using a "charitable" vehicle (see Gates Foundation Critique).


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[edit] Bill Gates on competition (highlights)

Linux is UNIX, and it’s a form of UNIX. It’s not like anybody invented a new way of doing an operating system. It’s like Free BSD was, and that existed even 10 years ago. The open source approach is valuable for certain types of development. We’ve always seen software coming out of the universities that prototype those things, and it’s part of the ecosystem of our industry that that was there, and used, and people would, if the licensing model allowed it, if it was actually an open license, which the open source license is not open because you can’t take it and ever use it in a job-creating activity.

Bill Gates

One thing to understand about the GPL is that you can’t just partially license—somebody can’t go and just license IBM Linux or Red Hat Linux, the way the GPL works, if you license anything at all you have to license it all.

Bill Gates

[The GPL being the] unusual license that is the one that has the word open, because it’s not open, is called the GPL.

Bill Gates

Certainly there’s no question that, particularly in some of the more cloning-type activities, intellectual property from many, many companies, including Microsoft, is being used in open source software. It’s pretty much when people clone things that often becomes unavoidable.


[T]here are problems for commercial users relative to the [GPL], and we are just making sure people understand the GPL.


[I]f you say to people, ‘Do you understand the GPL? (then) they’re pretty stunned when the Pac-Man-like nature of it is described to them.

[The GPL] breaks that cycle — that is, it makes it impossible for a commercial company to use any of that work or build on any of that work.

--Bill Gates, Gates wades into open-source debate


The GPL in our view should be used, which is the license that says you can’t enhance it and create a commercial product. Our view is that it should be used very narrowly, and we think people should think twice. So if you have government funded research, it’s ironic that then if it goes into that GPL you can’t create a company that creates jobs that pays taxes. And so most of the countries outside the U.S. have stayed away from that because they want to get the ecosystem that we have.

Software written in universities should be free software. But it shouldn’t be GPL software. GPL software is like this thing called Linux, where you can never commercialize anything around it; that is, it always has to be free.


In recent years, there’s been a lot of people clamoring to reform and restrict intellectual-property rights. It started out with just a few people, but now there are a bunch of advocates saying, “We’ve got to look at patents, we’ve got to look at copyrights.” What’s driving this, and do you think intellectual-property laws need to be reformed?

[Gates:] No, I’d say that of the world’s economies, there’s more that believe in intellectual property today than ever. There are fewer communists in the world today than there were. There are some new modern-day sort of communists who want to get rid of the incentive for musicians and moviemakers and software makers under various guises. They don’t think that those incentives should exist.

--Bill Gates Interview, Gates taking a seat in your den


[Open Source creates a license] so that nobody can ever improve the software.


[edit] US Department of Justice

This anti-trust thing will blow over. We haven’t changed our business practices at all. [May change e-mail retention policies]

Bill Gates, From usdoj.gov

I’ve never had a customer mention Linux to me.

Bill Gates, From usdoj.gov


[edit] Supportive Entities

[edit] Comes vs Microsoft exhibits

[edit] References

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