Bonum Certa Men Certa

GPLv3 Reaches High Acceptance Rates, Novell Bans It, More Responses to Linus Appear


Summary: While the FSF marks a triumph with GPLv3, Linus Torvalds shies away and people respond

ACCORDING TO this encouraging claim from Google's Chris DiBona, adoption of the GPLv3 is very high. This was expected, but Microsoft front groups were among those attacking the GPLv3, for obvious reasons.

In July 2007, version 3 of the GNU General Public License barely accounted for 164 projects. A year later, the number had climbed past 2,000 total projects. Today, as announced by Google open-source programs office manager Chris DiBona, the number of open-source projects licensed under GPLv3 is at least 56,000.

As Kuhn puts it, "Even Chris DiBona w/ his secret data admits that GPLv3 is taking over fast (> 50%) and AGPLv3 is growing very very fast."

We have also learned from an anonymous source that the new general policy at Novell is that all open source code developed in-house should be released as GPLv2 only (not GPLv3). This is not particularly surprising given Novell's attitude towards the FSF, but it is nice to have it repeated by another party that says:

I just learned that Novell has a new general policy according to which all Open Source code developed by/for the company should be released as "GPLv2 ONLY". This information is 100% good as it comes directly from the source. This policy interestingly coincides with that of Microsoft. If I learn more details I will let you know.

Linus Torvalds would not be happy about the news regarding GPLv3 adoption. In due time, it may pressure Linux as well to follow suit and evolve. Torvalds had some very harsh words for critics of Microsoft the other day, but rebuttals other than ours have already been published. Here is Jason's:

On Linus and Free Software


I see the situation like this:

1. Oversimplifying a situation into a dilemma is a fallacy, but that won’t stop me here: If you want to picture situation in the FLOSS world as having two poles, with rms and “Freedom or Death” on one end, and Linus “Shut up and code” on the other, then that’s fine. The bottom line is Free Software is here to stay because of the GPL, so even the most pragmatic pragmatist needs to come to terms with that. The converse is true, as well, of course.

2. If you blindly and unequivocally side with Linus, you are just as much in error as if you blindly and unequivocally side with rms. Neither are gods, both are men trying to figure out the best way to do things.

In relation to the above, one reader writes to tell us: "Linus Torvalds made a provocative statement about Free Software recently. What does it mean?"

One reader says that Jason "debunks the myth that anti-mono folks are just zealots who can't see reason."

The same reader says that Jason "debunks the myth that anti-mono folks are just zealots who can't see reason. Finally, he has this to address the issue of Torvalds' remarks about "free software purists.""

Here is another new criticism of Mono (in Italian) and Jason on what would change his mind on Microsoft, Mono, and Moonlight.

The short story is that it would take a lot for Microsoft and its associated software to gain trust. Another reader contributed the following thoughts in response to the interview with Linus. We append them below with suitable formatting.

Okay, a lot has been said on this blog, and there is some that I approve of, and a great deal that concerns me, and all of it brings up a lot of thoughts about my own feelings and loyalties. People are not the same, and have opinions that are all across the spectrum. But what concerns me most right now is how one person in particular seems to be painting a lot of us with the same brush, and more importantly, how there might be a kernel of truth to it.

Let me tell you about myself. I call the operating system GNU/Linux out of pride and respect for the GNU Project. I call it "free software", because I believe it is exactly the freedom component of this operating system that makes it special. And I have a great deal of admiration for Richard Stallman and for what he has been able to accomplish.

All the same, I think that in the free software community the lines between advocacy and zealotry are often crossed too easily. I find many of the conclusions that Roy here jumps to hasty, and this concerns me. And this only serves to support many of the things that critics has been saying, and puts me in a position where I don't know if I dislike what they have been saying because the statements are false or because I wish they weren't true. But first let me put up a few points of agreement.


Apparently, a lot of this controversy started due to a poorly performed joke that RMS made at a conference to GNOME and KDE developers. I think the details of this joke, and why it has been found offensive, have been nit-picked to death, so I won't get into it here. But calling RMS sexist, or even continuing to insinuate that the man is sexist, I think really requires some perspective. In fact, lets begin a list starting from the most sexist thing you can do to least, and see where RMS's joke belongs on this ladder.

1. Rape and physical abuse of women. 2. Instituting laws and rules that take away the rights of women. 3. Discrimination as an employer or leader of an organization. 4. Misogyny. 5. Emotional abuse or tormenting of women. 6. Acting on sexist stereotypes. 7. Treating women as physical objects (e.g., of lust). 8. Mean-spirited jokes directed at women. 9. A poorly worded joke said at a conference that makes women feel uncomfortable. 10. Using the words "he" and "his" as a gender neutral pronoun.

So, where does RMS fall in this list? By a lot of the comments I've been hearing, I would get the impression that RMS has made an offense somewhere near the top of this list. But actually, I'd put RMS at level 9 of sexism.

Now, contrary to what Roy and others have said, I actually don't scorn critics at all for speaking up about this. If they believe this was a serious lapse of etiquette, then it is their right to speak up about their feelings on the matter. And if women are offended by this because they are women, then I think they should also speak up. That's fine, but so long as you see it as a violation of etiquette rather than something worse. Again, you need perspective.

At best, I would consider the event embarrassing for the free software community. But there are other messages out there that are saying that he free software community needs to move on, or that we should abandon free software principles and endorse the apathy of Linus Torvalds. Well, I disagree. But if I'm embarrassed by the event, why would I still admire this man?


To understand, let's look at another list, this time in the reverse direction. We all support the free software movement, don't we? If you don't, then none of this should matter to you. But here are ways of supporting the free software community in order to least effective to most effective.

10. Chatting about "Linux" on IRC, twitter, blogs, and web forums. 9. Installing GNU/Linux on your own computer, and telling others about it. 8. Helping other people install GNU/Linux. 7. Writing fixing bugs and contributing documentation to the community. 6. Helping new users install and run free software on their computes. 5. Working on a minor free software application and contributing it to the pool. 4. Working on a major free software application and contributing it to the pool. 3. Working on a high priority application and contributing it to the pool. 2. Starting and leading a major free software desktop project for the purpose preventing the free software community depending on a proprietary toolkit being used by a competing project. 1. Quitting your job, starting the GNU Project, begin working on the basic free software needed for the development of an operating system, establish the legal foundation for free software by writing the licensing, start the Free Software Foundation to give the community a legal backbone, stay true to your principles, never compromise, never give in, and take abuse from members of the community for doing exactly what it takes to win.

Okay, so I'm biased. Number 1 is obviously RMS, but for the sake of the cause that *I* support, there is no one more deserving of that slot. But notice who Number 2 is? Come on, does anyone remember their history? That's right, the leader of the dreaded Mono project was also the instigator of the GNOME project. In fact, even before GNOME, Miguel de Izaca was a GNU developer and contributed GNU software like the Midnight Commander. Then, while developing GNOME, he started a company developing and supporting free software. Now why would he have gone to all this hassle if Miguel didn't care about free software principles? Come on, people! when a contradiction is staring at you square in the face, admit to it! Reason with it! Learn from it!

I don't know de Izaca personally, but in all probability he likely *still* believes in free software principles. But, you ask, how is this possible when Mono is this huge threat to the free software community? First, remind yourself that Mono software is all distributed under free software licenses. Even now, working for Novel, Miguel is writing free software. Could it be, just maybe, that Miguel disagrees with the patent situation?


And that's the thing, people have the *right* to disagree. But even more importantly, *consult your lawyers!* This is, fundamentally, a legal question, and one that people uneducated in law should stay out of. I trust the opinion of the SFLC and the FSF, they have been the legal backbone of the free software community from the beginning. And, I know that Canonical has consulted their lawyers, and Red Hat has consulted their lawyers, and so on and so forth. That's what everyone should be doing.

But in certain respects, patent problems isn't anything new to the free software community. They are a huge problem because the patent process rewards the person who first patented the idea at the expense of your average free software developer who doesn't care about getting an intellectual monopoly over a particular technique. So the .NET framework isn't anything new in that respect. If all else was equal, this would be just another case of crossing the bridge when we get there.

I'm as worried about Microsoft as the next GNU/Linux user. But *hatred* of them is simply foolish at this point. There is nothing personal about Microsoft. They are a company in search of profit, and they are using everything they can to achieve that goal. This makes companies remarkably predictable in this respect.

But there are a few things we know about Microsoft. We know that free software is a direct competitor to Microsoft software. We know that free software has already cost Microsoft an untold amount of money. We know that the GNU/Linux system commoditizes the products that Microsoft is trying to profit by. We know that the free software community is on their crosshairs.

It's one thing to be paranoid, it's quite another to *know* they are out to get you. But we shouldn't be fanatical. We shouldn't be afraid. We should just...*breathe*. We don't have to fight Microsoft. All we need to do is to continue working with the GNU project, the Free Software Foundation, the GNOME and KDE projects, and all the other wonderful free software projects out there to create a more perfect system. Build a solid foundation and no one can break you.


But what we don't need here is this *false antagonism* that is being spread around, from blog to blog, dividing the community, creating animosity between people writing software under the same set of licenses. *We're all on the same side here.* Aren't we? The Mono team isn't the enemy here. If Mono turns out being patent encumbered, then we will learn we just can't use their software. The free software community has dealt with worse before. I'm not going to encourage the use of Mono myself, but if other people have different legal opinions, and believe they are safe from Microsoft, then I hope they're right! But know who our enemies really are: Microsoft and proprietary software. *Not* free software developers! Even if you think their lawyers aren't as smart as your lawyers :)

I know a while back there was this meme on Planet GNOME that said "I'm not afraid of people writing code" and because that meme spread widely that is pretty sad, really. It's a consequence of this false antagonism that I'm talking about. Be honest. Be sincere. Be true about your feelings, and you won't have any opinions worth spreading a meme about:

I'm afraid of software patents and Microsoft.

Any more thoughts would be welcome.


Recent Techrights' Posts

When Wikileaks Sources Were Actually Murdered and Wikileaks Was Still a Wiki
when Wikileaks was a young site and still an actual wiki
Why Virtually All the Wikileaks Copycats, Forks, and Rivals Basically Perished
Cryptome is like the "grandpa" of them all
Why the Media is Dying (It Sucks, No Mentally Healthy People Will Tolerate This for Long)
linking to actual news articles helps fuel the spam, too
[Meme] Was He So Productive He Had to be Expelled Somehow? (After He Was Elected and Had Given Many Years of Work to Earn a Board Seat)
Things like these seem to lessen the incentive to devote one's life to Free software projects
GNOME Foundation is Causing Itself More Embarrassment With Secrecy Than With Full Transparency
It also arouses suspicion and hostility towards Codes of Conduct, which gave rise to 'secret courts' governed by large corporations
Links 23/07/2024: NetherRealm Layoffs and Illegitimate Patent 'Courts' (Illegal)
Links for the day
Gemini Links 23/07/2024: AM Radio, ngIRCd, and Munin
Links for the day
A Lot of GNU/Linux Growth on the Client Side is Owing to India (Where GNU/Linux Has Reached 16%)
A lot of this happened in recent years
Insulting Free Software Users in Social Control Media (Proprietary, Bloated With Opaque JavaScript) is Like Insulting Amish on TV
Why bother? Don't take the bait.
statCounter: Dutch GNU/Linux Usage Surged 1% in Summer
Microsoft is running out of things to actually sell
Microsoft's "Results" Next Week Will be Ugly (But It'll Lie About Them, as Usual)
Where can Microsoft find income rather than losses as its debt continues to grow and layoffs accelerate?
Julian Assange is Still Being Dehumanised in Media Whose Owners Wikileaks Berated (With Underlying Facts or Leaks)
Wikileaks and Free software aren't the same thing. Nevertheless, the tactics used to infiltrate or discredit both ought to be understood.
A Month Later
We're optimistic on many fronts
Links 23/07/2024: Downsizing and Microsoft and Still Damage Control
Links for the day
Gemini Links 23/07/2024: Friends and Solitaire
Links for the day
Censorship in Eklektix's Linux Weekly News (LWN)
Medieval system of speech, where the monarchs (Linux Foundation) dictate what's permissible to say
10 Years of In-Depth EPO Coverage at Techrights (Many Others Have Abandoned the Topic)
Listen to staff
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, July 22, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, July 22, 2024
[Meme] The Latest in the Microsoft Windows Blame Game
Microsoft found the culprit and came to everyone's rescue!
Links 22/07/2024: Overworking and Performance Issues From Europe
Links for the day
Microsoft Eliminates 67% of the Building Occupancy - That's Some Truly Massive Layoffs
Half a dozen floors? Microsoft cuts that down to two.
[Meme] Signs of a Dying Patent Office
"Bribe the media to say you excel"
This Month's General Consultative Committee (GCC) Webchat ('Meeting') Covered the European Patent Office's Attacks on Its Own Interpreters
The Central Staff Committee is currently circulating a report with appendices about the GCC meeting [sic] (webchat) that took place less than a fortnight ago
A Byzantine European Patent Office Where Staff Must Beg for Help With Contraception (Worse Than the Rest of Europe)
The Central Staff Committee (EPO staff representation) has just circulated a report
[Teaser] EPO Run by Children
"Daddy, why was I born?"
Let's Encrypt About to Fall Below 100 (Capsules) in Geminispace, It's Basically in a Freefall
The "self-signed" portion keeps growing
Gemini Links 22/07/2024: Spacewalk Dies and Old Computer Challenge in the Rear View
Links for the day
For the First Time Since May (Linux Foundation) Published Something. It's All Spam.
Can we trust the Linux Foundation to look after anything at all? Look what it turned this once-thriving site into.
Honduras: Windows Down, Android Peaking Again
Honduras does not have many stakes in Microsoft
[Meme] Twitter (X) Will Reject the Concept of a Female President
Twitter (X) is controlled by misogynists, who socially control (or socially-engineer) their fake concept of "media"
Second Family Photo of Julian Assange Since His Release (First Since His Birthday)
His wife shows the 4 of them for the first time (2 hours ago)
Protesters in Kenya Need Software That is Free (Libre) and Supports Real Encryption in Order to Avoid Capture and Torture (Sometimes Execution)
There's more to fight over than economic issues
The Ludicrous Idea That GNU/Linux is a "Poor Man's" Operating System
Seeing the trends in countries such an Norway, it ought to be abundantly clear that adoption of GNU/Linux has nothing to do with poverty
Links 22/07/2024: Internet Optimism and Kamala Harris Policies Debated
Links for the day
Something is Happening at OFTC
It looks like it shrank by 20,000 users
GNU/Linux Usage in Guadeloupe Rises Closer to International Average, Based on Web Data Collected by statCounter
It should be noted that the estimates of GNU/Linux usage are now in 4.5% territories
The Impact of OFTC's Latest Changes on the Perceived Scale of IRC Globally
IRC is still one of the more potent alternatives to the social control media conglomerates
New: Why They Really Went After Assange
Uploaded by Chris Hedges
Links 21/07/2024: Health, Politics, and Kamala Harris in Focus
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, July 21, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, July 21, 2024
A Drop in Half (From 208 to 104): Sharp Decline in Number of Gemini Capsules That Use Let's Encrypt CA Since December
Gemini is increasing its independence from Certificate Authorities (CAs)
Gemini Links 21/07/2024: Last of Old Computer Challenge and Forth Language
Links for the day
Links 21/07/2024: Climate, Politics, and More Squashed Patents
Links for the day
Only a Quarter of Web Requests in Micronesia Traced Back to Microsoft Windows (It Used to be Well Over 95%)
Micronesia has over half a million people in it
Your F.U.D. is Already Showing, Microsoft
That talking point is quickly spreading so that CrowdStrike discussions become about "Linux" instead of Windows
Andrew Feinstein on Why Freeing Julian Assange is About the Freedom of the Press in General
Feinstein points out that truth itself is being challenged by people who value power, not truth, and typically seek to do things like sell arms and start proxy wars
In Palau, Windows Has Fallen to 16%
15 years ago Windows was at 98%
Gemini is Blossoming and More Capsules Are Self-Signing, Rejecting the Defunct and Falsely-Marketed Certificate Authority (CA) Model
Gemini is still very fast, not only because objects are lightweight but the protocol itself - i.e. the underlying logic - is as simple as it needs to be and only as complex as it must be
Gemini Links 21/07/2024: New Garden and New Gemini Arrivals
Links for the day
Links 21/07/2024: Extreme Heat and Fortescue Layoffs
Links for the day
GNU/Linux Lifted Up 0.03% Closer to 4.5% "Market Share" (or 50% More Than a Year Ago)
How many businesses and homes are permanently giving up on Windows after recent days' events?
Giving the False Impression That the R blogosphere is Microsoft's Microcosm
Curation that culls "astroturfing" isn't censorship but quality control for relevance
High Adoption Rates for GNU/Linux in Albania, According to statCounter
Albania has been a central point of some GNOME and diversity scandals
It'll Soon Be Half a Decade Since COVID-19's Breakout, We Still Need Verified Facts (Not Corporate Dogma) and Proper Media Reporting
COVID-19 has meant different things to different people
For the First Time, Microsoft's "Market Share" in North Macedonia Falls to Only a Quarter
Microsoft only has Windows
Evan Versus Julian
Published by Julian Assange's wife some hours ago
What The Internet Can Achieve When Put in the Hands of the Good People and Not Censored by the People Who Already Control the Mass Media
albeit Wikileaks put that in social control media owned and controlled by oligarchs
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, July 20, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, July 20, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
[Meme] Hate Speech
This is also what makes TikTok so dangerous
Shark-infected Water on the Web
Don't turn Gemini into another "Web"
OpenHarmony, HarmonyOS Next, Deepin, Kylin, and openKylin: How China's Various Manoeuvres Away From Windows Get Covered in the West
Kylin was openly based on Ubuntu
WikiLeaks Wonders: Major Leaks That Shook the Worlds
Published 14 hours ago