10.18.21

Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part II — The Campaign Against GPL Compliance and War on Copyleft Enforcement

Posted in Deception, GPL, Law, Microsoft at 5:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series parts:

  1. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part I — Inside a Den of Corruption and Misogynists
  2. YOU ARE HERE ☞ The Campaign Against GPL Compliance and War on Copyleft Enforcement

GitHub: Where everything comes to die
Get out while you still can…

Summary: Microsoft contemplated buying GitHub 7.5 years ago; the goal wasn’t to actually support “Open Source” but to crush it from the inside and that’s what Microsoft has been doing over the past 2.5 years (we have some details from the inside)

THE latest series we have is expected to last months, not weeks. Our in-depth investigation started yesterday as we began fact-checking and verifying claims. Some of them are quite astounding and the challenge will be splitting the revelations into separate logical bits.

As a bit of a teaser, last week we showed what Miguel de Icaza really thinks of the CEO of Microsoft GitHub (Nat Friedman, a rich spoiled boy like Bill Gates). Remember that it was Miguel de Icaza himself who more than 15 years ago worked on the wedding between Microsoft and Novell (the very reason this site exists in the first place) and it’s mostly about patents, enabling Microsoft to basically dominate if not commandeer GNU/Linux. Also, for those who are not aware, Miguel de Icaza met Nat Friedman as a Microsoft employee (intern); both still work for Microsoft and Miguel de Icaza actually co-founded GNOME after he had attempted to work for Microsoft (but failed for immigration reasons).

“They say a fish rots from the head down; here too, as we shall see, rich spoiled boy Nat Friedman is the mastermind.”This series won’t be focusing on aspects that we covered before, e.g. how GitHub renders Free software projects mere “slaves” of Microsoft (Microsoft is the master of everything in GitHub, no matter what it says about the word) or why it’s a huge danger (we consider it to be the biggest threat to Free software). Instead, we shall focus mostly on how GitHub is being weaponised against millions of Free software projects, especially those that use reciprocal licences. We’ll see who and what is behind that plot, based on insiders’ accounts. We don’t want to give any spoilers away. They say a fish rots from the head down; here too, as we shall see, rich spoiled boy Nat Friedman is the mastermind. He’s so vain that he’s blocking, not just stonewalling, many of his critics. He’s insecure if not paranoid because he has so much to hide.

“GitHub is another problem,” an associate of ours has explained, as “it was only half bad at first but after it got bought out / sold out then it is all bad. I figure it was a defensive maneuver by Microsoft to also gain surveillance over competitors, but more to shut them down and control them. Similar to Mojang.”

In the case of Mojang, think of the poor frog inside the warm/hot water that starts boiling and gradually kills the frog in a very cruel fashion. In the case of Minecraft (of Mojang), they stopped the Java version and made a variant of the flagship product that was Windows-only, then they went all in on that. Apparently they also require a Microsoft account to continue using the product. Bundling and social engineering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. In GitHub’s case, they try to steer people away from the GPL and change users’ practices; moreover, they promote a proprietary IDE, NSA-friendly hosting, and a “better” Git tool (basically pulling an E.E.E. on the original project, which was created by Linus Torvalds). The bundling increases over time. Use it the way Microsoft wants or be left behind..

Remember that ongoing scandal in .NET Foundation (as recent as this month). Microsoft constantly misuses its power in GitHub and it’ll only get worse in the future because the fist tightens. The currency is control [1, 2]. That’s just Microsoft being Microsoft. Robert X. Cringely once said that Microsoft “have the deepest of pockets, unlimited ambition, and they are willing to lose money for years and years just to make sure that you don’t make any money, either. And they are mean, REALLY mean.”

GitHub does not make money, but it gives Microsoft a lot of unjust power that it is — as always! — happy to abuse/misuse.

“They’ll never recover that money,” our associate has said about GitHub and Mojang, “but they did shut down a gateway for kids to learn about GNU/Linux and the very existence of non-Microsoft systems.”

“Microsoft itself is only about 4/5 of the problem. On top of what it does itself, there is also the fact that various nation states exploit it as a vehicle for nefarious works.”

“Hence the continued bailouts via “contracts”, like JEDI.”

“Microsoft constantly misuses its power in GitHub and it’ll only get worse in the future because the fist tightens.”We casually mentioned this in yesterday's Daily Links. Expect this series to also cover Pentagon and/or NSA connections. They do exist. Microsoft is more about politics than about technology.

As we focus intensely on the EPO we cannot promise daily or even weekly posts in the GitHub series. But we certainly expect this series to go on for a very long time.

In Part III we’ll begin to examine some verified new evidence. In later parts we’ll name some of the players (culprits) and illuminate their dark past.

10.15.21

Post About Whether Vivaldi is a GPL violation Was Quietly Knifed by the Mods of /r/uBlockOrigin in Reddit

Posted in GPL, Law at 4:58 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission from the originals [1, 2]

This is the most Reddit thing ever.

So I posted yesterday that Vivaldi Adblock is basically just a ripoff of Adblock Plus and uBlock-Origin code, and that code is licensed under the GNU GPLv3, which talks of “conveying” the software as part of a larger work.

Which is what Vivaldi does.

It’s really hard to write an ad blocker that works right, much less an entire web browser. Vivaldi admits that their browser engine is Chromium, but they’ve effectively plagiarized the ad blocker as their own by stamping a “Vivaldi Adblock” brand on it.

When you do this, your work becomes part of the whole, and must be under a compatible license. However, Vivaldi as a whole is proprietary, meaning it likely violates the licenses of Adblock Plus and uBlock-Origin.

However, when I posted to Reddit’s support forum for uBlock-Origin requesting a code review of Vivaldi’s source dump, they quietly changed it so that the only people who could see it are me and the moderators.

Have a look.

In Reddit on Vivaldi

Many GPL violators get away with it because none of the copyright holders bother to enforce their license.

If they’re not going to enforce their license, they should just go ahead and release it under a permissive license so that companies don’t get the idea that they can simply steal and misappropriate code and nothing will happen to them later involving the DMCA, similar laws, and court.

(Which is what those companies use against a single mother of 3 who downloaded 14 MP3 files.)

The copyright holders of the Linux kernel have never bothered enforcing their rights and so Linux gets stolen this way all the time. And yes, you can say someone stole/pirated Free Software if they misuse it against the terms of the license, assuming the concept of stealing/pirating software is a valid concept at all. The authors have as many rights as anyone else who releases a copyrighted work.

Companies who want to get away with “Free Software piracy” and not get dragged into court, like Sony, commission work to replace software where the author will assert their rights (like when Sony sponsored Toybox to replace Busybox), and they also discourage people from giving copyright assignment to entities that will use it to protect the software from being misused, such as how they attack the Free Software Foundation and make it seem unfair that they asked for assignment.

The result is, they are sometimes successful, and the project becomes hard to protect.

In the past, Jamie Zawinski worked for an employer called Lucid.

They forked Emacs because they wanted to add features to it without assigning copyright to the FSF. Some of them were good features, but the FSF had to implement them separately, without looking at “XEmacs”, and the two diverged, and eventually XEmacs faltered and died after Lucid went out of business.

That fork and the death of all of that code never would have happened had they agreed to give the FSF copyright assignment and work in a participatory fashion, instead of taking JWZ’s attitude that “the FSF is impossible to work with”, after they received more from GNU Emacs than they ever would have given back.

JWZ and others who encourage authors to strip the “or any later version” language from the LGPL and GPL licenses do the entire Free Software community a disservice years down the road, because newer versions of the licenses come out to address threats and harms to computing perpetuated by hostile entities such as Microsoft, Apple, and Sony, but people who find some software under, say, the GPLv2-only and the GPLv3 cannot legally convey them as part of a new work that takes the best of both and extends them, or “upgrade” the LGPLv2.1 to something compatible with the Apache v2 license, or any number of other possible combinations.

This ultimately leaves us all worse off because of lost potential innovation, and people should simple leave the “or any later version” alone and trust other users and developers to make the right decisions 10 or 20 years down the road, instead of watching their software become difficult to use in anything, and then dying. Do you want that for your software? Because you shouldn’t.

Unfortunately, Fedora and Red Hat are now part of IBM, and IBM attacks the GPL and FSF the same way Lucid and JWZ did, only they’re still a very large company who can do a lot more harm (on their own way down). The news has been overly kind to IBM, suggesting that they’re in anything other than some kind of a freefall, and I laugh when NPR is on in the car talking about IBM as if it has a bright future, then disclosing they take IBM money.


This is a blind paste from Reddit. Someone replied to my post about what would make Vivaldi Adblock a GPL violation and this is my response to that. The emphasis at the bottom, about extension store license policies is added to this blog for effect.

Well, the question has come up before in the context of the Linux kernel.

Their position is that the kernel exports “symbols” to drivers that are flagged “GPL-only” and ones that anyone can use. The programmers and lawyers decide which parts they feel are something that is “internal” and should be off limits to anything not under a compatible license.

Unless Vivaldi has changed something dramatically in how the ublock-origin or Adblock Plus code works, I believe it should be using WebRequest API.

Google’s (Chrome Extension) Manifest v3 didn’t go over so well because it wanted to set WebRequest API such that extensions can’t modify network requests and have to use a “DeclarativeNetRequest” API that has essentially been neutered to set an upper limit on the rules.

However, since these extensions can use tons and tons of rules, and Vivaldi Adblock reports success loading well over 150,000 rules, I think it’s probably still WebRequest.

Vivaldi said they were not happy with Google’s Manifest v3 and were moving ad blocking to an internal feature to safeguard against that. Obviously, if they don’t like the limitations on WebRequest, if Google decides to go through with them, Vivaldi can patch them back out and fork ad blocking to keep letting the user load as many rule sets as they like.

Of course, there are other concerns, like Vivaldi doesn’t have a large base of users, and at this point it would basically be them and possibly Firefox not going along with the neutered WebRequest, and are people going to maintain lists for browsers that don’t neuter the API?

Anyway, my point, I suppose, is if Vivaldi is distributing them as if it were two different programs and if they are just using WebRequest, that _might_ be okay as long as they release their modifications to the ad blocker code under the GPLv3.

However, if they move it, (or already have moved it) to use a special internal API (like Brave-Adblock does, which is okay because Brave wrote their own and licensed it under MPLv2) in the browser that is not generally available to other extensions (because it performs better or something), that’s really where *I* would think they’d be in non-compliance.

But I’m not a lawyer.

I’m just comparing this to the “Linux” model of “If it’s available to everyone, go for it.”.

Sniffing their description of “Vivaldi Adblock”, however, it seems they imply their built-in functionality performs better than an extension. If it uses WebRequest, then how does it perform better?

See: https://vivaldi.com/features/ad-blocker/

Note: They also border on slandering uBlock-Origin just because it’s an extension that they don’t bundle. Lots of extensions are shady, even if they end up in Google’s store, but Raymond Hill seems trustworthy and if you make sure to only install open source extensions, you’re probably okay.

In fact, one of the biggest downsides to Chromium browsers getting extensions from Google’s store vs. Firefox add-ons, is that Firefox lists what license you’re agreeing to, and Google doesn’t.

“Oh, you paid us five bucks? Yeah, sure do whatever! Toss your Chinese malware in there!” -Google

10.03.21

Linus Torvalds is Not in Charge Anymore, All Important Decisions Are Made by Monopolistic Corporations

Posted in GPL, Kernel at 5:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 5edbf42accd71d6b95836f29843d3508

Summary: The corporate users of Linux, the kernel at least, call all the shots; they try to do the same to GNU, so ordinary users and grassroots movements are left mostly in the dark, and that’s jeopardising users’ basic freedoms

THE Linux Foundation (LF) and its media partners (read: paid media, puff piece factories) have long been pushing Linux to adopt Rust. We wrote about it many times before.

“This is a major regression, but it is encouraged by the same media that cheers for the bloated World Wide Web, a failed project that became all about proprietary spying by Web giants, farming people and their minds.”In this age when students cannot grasp the concept of files and directories (or “folders” as Microsoft-funded media likes to put it) we’re meant to think better code will come from proprietary software like GitHub and a bunch of bloated frameworks, too complex for any single person to properly understand and audit. This is a major regression, but it is encouraged by the same media that cheers for the bloated World Wide Web, a failed project that became all about proprietary spying by Web giants, farming people and their minds.

The video above concerns the public appearance of Linus Torvalds, whose appearance shows rapid deterioration in health; compare the photos to this older appearance of his (same two individuals). We focus on this Linux Foundation-funded article, especially the parts about corporate Rust, a fake ‘community’ that censors critics of corporations like Microsoft. These are the sorts of people who push developers towards Microsoft’s monopoly and it won't end there. It seems perfectly clear to us that Torvalds is not truly in charge since they sent him to therapists as if he had committed thought-crime.

“The video above notes that the employer of Torvalds does not like copyleft; it loves Microsoft and it outsources code to Microsoft’s proprietary software and monopolisation trap, which actively encourages people to violate the GPL.”“Linus stated and emphasized that choosing the GPL for Linux was one of his best decisions,” an associate of ours said today. “Those might have been the real words which actually got him in trouble more recently.” The video above notes that the employer of Torvalds does not like copyleft; it loves Microsoft and it outsources code to Microsoft’s proprietary software and monopolisation trap, which actively encourages people to violate the GPL.

Our associate recalls the role played by RMS inspiring a lot of very important projects, just like we’re meant to think that Torvalds’ Git is to be replaced by GitHub and Microsoft is our new overlord (they already engage in E.E.E. against Git, turning it into proprietary). “Regarding the origins and inspirations for the WWW, Wikipedia, and Creative Commons,” the associate notes, “there has been a lot of revisionism or at least omission lately. RMS used to get mentioned a lot more before the last 10 years of campaigns to wipe him and the F-word from history.” (F as in freedom)

“Linus [Torvalds] has consistently pointed out the advantages of C over the others. Some of the claimed advantages of Rust are not there. According to the one picture, he has aged terribly during the last year [...] “The New Stack” article makes selective quotes so it is hard to see the full context of Linus’ comments about Rust. However, the one quote does show that it will start to taint the mainline kernel soon. I do not trust “The New Stack” (TNS) at all. that’s one of the reasons I’d like to see the comments in their context. [...] Slashdot only has the TNS article, no video.”

If we find the video, we will share and analyse further. No spin by LF-funded media operatives (we know LF is indebted not to Linux but to the corporations that control LF).

09.21.21

Richard Stallman’s First Public Talk (Delivered in Person) in Years, Now With a Free Format

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GPL, Videos at 8:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Full talk now available. The organisers of the conference have uploaded to YouTube, so we’ve converted everything to a free/libre format (and last night only an excerpt was published here).

09.20.21

Richard Stallman’s Talk in Ukraine Two Days Ago (in Person)

Posted in Audio/Video, Free/Libre Software, GPL at 4:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Richard Stallman explains his stance on Invidious (released under the AGPLv3) in his new (in-person) talk:

Video download link

The part preceding the new (in-person) talk:

Video download link

The full talk (from Saturday), streamed over Invidious:

09.13.21

This Coming Saturday Richard Stallman Will Give His First Public Talk Since May

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GPL at 5:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Richard Stallman on Ukraine event

OSDN - Richard Stallman

Richard Stallman talk slot

Summary: Cordial headsup to Free/libre software aficionados; “Richard Stallman will be giving a talk in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Saturday, September, 18, titled Free Software and the GNU General Public License,” his Web site says. It’s noted here.

08.21.21

In Old Video From Egypt, Richard Stallman Explains Why It’s GNU/Linux Rather Than Just Linux (for the Whole System) and How It Started in the 1980s

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, GPL, Videos at 5:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum b80282e412e14793b5748792fef2ab5c

Summary: In order to tackle revisionism (rampant in the media this month) we’re reproducing in a Free format an old video; the relevant part is spanning about 5:40-6:20 (minutes:seconds) from the start

08.11.21

Prof. Moglen at OSCON, Speaking to O’Reilly: Open Source is a Waste of Time (Distracts From Software Freedom)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GPL, Videos at 5:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link (and an archived copy at IA)

Summary: To cut to the chase, the segment of interest is 4:07 to 8:23, as noted here; the video itself is hard to find any longer, even in official channels

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