04.17.20

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When Compromise Means Surrender

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 1:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Succumbing to Microsoft managers and selling them influence inside Free software-centric organisations is suicidal because Microsoft’s campaign against GNU/Linux continues, albeit it’s thinly and strategically disguised as “love”

NEGOTIATION skills and diplomacy are good things. They help bridge gaps between otherwise-unwilling parties, where irreconcilable differences prevail, harming collaboration opportunities.

This isn’t to say that all distrust is unwarranted and undesirable. One must assess underlying facts and establish whether one is trustworthy or not. Regrettably, the FSFE's leadership decided that it is somehow OK to take money from Microsoft, which as recently as one year ago leveraged software patents against companies that distribute Linux. As Benjamin Henrion (FFII) put it [1, 2]: “FSFE now sponsored by Microsoft, which is still applying for software patents [...] And FSFE is also sponsored by Ericsson, one of the most aggressive software patent supporter and patent troll…”

“The idea that Microsoft is somehow “Acceptable” or “Reformed” all of a sudden is absolutely laughable. Unless one falls for the PR (lying) campaigns…”We actually have more of an issue with money coming from a company that loathes Free software and attacks it constantly (e.g. with a “free” jail called GitHub). Ericsson’s role in patent trolling was explained here many times before; but unlike Microsoft they never attack Linux or Free software directly.

“Microsoft hates GNU/Linux.”The idea that Microsoft is somehow “Acceptable” or “Reformed” all of a sudden is absolutely laughable. Unless one falls for the PR (lying) campaigns…

Or unless one looks for excuses to pick up corrupting funds…

Microsoft hates GNU/Linux. It really does. It ‘loves’ it in the same sense HIV patients love their ‘cocktail’.

See how their managers truly feel about GNU/Linux. We recently learned from a reliable and involved source that the WSL adoption numbers are rather laughable (maybe just hundreds of thousands of active users worldwide). The project is an utter failure, so it’s being rebranded the “2.0″ way. After almost half a decade ‘out there’, combined with loads of PR and puff pieces from Microsoft boosters inside the media.

Reaching out to corporate partners isn’t in itself (or in its own right) evil; it’s who you reach out to that counts.

“This isn’t helping Free software “win” or become “mainstream”; it’s a surrender, or a handover of Free software’s soul to corporations most hostile towards Software Freedom.”The FSFE was already in hot waters for a number of recent scandals/blunders, which could be traced back to its leadership. This one isn’t going to help. The perception is that today’s FSFE is basically far too German (like the EPO) and too often in bed with corporate interests, far more so than the FSF. No wonder many members are said to have left. If they hope to replace individual members (and their membership fees) with corporate sponsorships, then the identity of the FSFE too will change. This isn’t helping Free software “win” or become “mainstream”; it’s a surrender, or a handover of Free software’s soul to corporations most hostile towards Software Freedom. Some people profit handsomely from this handover; see the Linux Foundation, the “market leader” in such handovers. It even outsources the code to Microsoft, just like Apache did after ASF has been taken by a Microsoft mole.

“Microsoft has a master plan for open source and it’s not good. Open Source is about Freedom, not control. Don’t you all think it’s a little suspicious what Microsoft paid for GitHub?”

Eren Niazi, Creator of Open Source Storage

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