04.14.08

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McAfee Throws Some More FUD at Free Software

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 10:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rebels against secure technology, GPL

Still financially-reliant on Windows and its many vulnerabilities, McAfee appears to be continuing its crusade against change. Never mind if the departure of a senior vice president from Microsoft (Windows executive) was only leaked yesterday, indicating that Windows’ decline is inevitable. Never mind if any cyber-criminal that uses GNU/Linux could just as effectively use Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows. Never mind if development of scripts needn’t rely on sharing.

“Never mind if any cyber-criminal that uses GNU/Linux could just as effectively use Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows.”There might just be something at McAfee that has led them to taking the lead in anti-Free software battles [1, 2] for at least a couple of years, not only because they are quite likely GPL violators. Trend Micro is a close second because a couple of years ago it actually defended and praised the security advantage of Free software (before attacking it in court over software patents).

Sadly enough, more recently we saw Palamida flirting with (even collaborating with) McAfee. One has to worry about fear as a product or sales strategy. Anyway, for details about McAfee’s latest accusation, see Matt Asay’s blog.

Someone at McAfee thinks that the correlation between botnets and open source is clear, but I am struggling to grasp any connection between the two. Perhaps this is just one more example of McAfee’s dubious grasp on reality when it comes to open source. Remember its statement that open-source licensing is a threat to its business?

Also from the same blog, recall Google's AGPL antipathy, which was discussed here only a few days ago. Google seems to have replied, but in a very tactless fashion. Asay rebuts.

Well, no, Chris [DiBona], AGPL is not “meaning something else altogether.” It actually means precisely what the GPL was always intended to mean: Reciprocity. It is likely true that Google doesn’t like that reciprocity requirement, but that’s “something else altogether.”

What is the AGPL? It’s the Affero General Public License, and finishes the job that GPLv3 was supposed to do: Broaden the definition of “distribution” enough to keep Web freeriders like Google, Digg, etc. from using open-source code without contributing back.

Google will hopefully have this one rectified, for its own good.

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4 Comments

  1. Victor Soliz said,

    April 15, 2008 at 8:06 am

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    I do think the AGPL means something else than GPL. I actually think it is a drastic change, a change though that’s quite necessary for the next times to come.

  2. Victor Soliz said,

    April 15, 2008 at 8:09 am

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    I should say Asay also needs to rectify for sort of saying AGPL redefines the word ‘distribution’ to make it also include ‘use’.

  3. Logan said,

    April 15, 2008 at 8:46 am

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    I find Mr DiBona behavior in that conversation very distasteful indeed…

    License proliferation, yeah right!

    Although a combined Microsoft+Yahoo is bad, taking the Google’s behavior now and possible behavior in future, it might not be so bad after all.

    Google controlling the entire Internet is a worse prospect that Microsoft controlling the Desktop. And we pretty close to a point where what others do will not matter.

    And you can’t have a more hypocritical slogan than “Don’t be evil”.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 15, 2008 at 9:04 am

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    Well, Stallman sometimes calls proprietary software evil and Google hardly delivers anything but proprietary software. About a year ago Mark Shuttleworth said that it was time for Google to drop that mantra.

    Google is needed to restore competition in various areas, but it becomes increasingly dominant in new areas. Let’s deal with the problems one at a time though. Intel is another very criminal leech, which has recently thrived in bribery, deception, sabotage of competitors’ business/contracts, etc. They are meanwhile shredding E-mails to hide all the evidence while facing charges in at least 3 continents. They are not being grilled ‘for fun’. While the world turns a blind eye to Intel I often wonder if Intel is several times worse an abuser than Microsoft.

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