EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

08.27.09

Why is IDG News Service Attacking the GPL?

Posted in FSF, FUD, GPL, Law, Microsoft at 9:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Richard Stallman

Summary: The smears against the GPL need tracing back to their roots

FOR people’s awareness, it seems important to alert that attacks on the GPL have risen in number. These are not the typical attacks and they are accompanied by personal attacks, as stated earlier.

We found out that a PR agency from the United States is sending people semi-personalised press releases about a debate which seems hostile towards the GPL, based on the participants (what’s called a “stacked panel”). Somehow they ended up getting my E-mail address, scooping it from somewhere and then striving to promote this nonsense, which they did. It came from IDG (which relies on Microsoft as a large revenue source [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and also employs Microsoft/Apple investors as writers). IDG is being mentioned in the form of InfoWorld, which also fed this to the news feeds. It was IDG that published and spread an article which was moronic, boldly stating in the headline, “is the GPL irrelevant?”

“It was IDG that published and spread an article which was moronic, boldly stating in the headline, “is the GPL irrelevant?””That was of course a nonsensical contention to start an article with. The GPL is used by most Free/open source software projects and it is by far the most ubiquitous software licence in the world. How does irrelevance come into it?

Attacks on the GPL and anything and anyone associated with it are not news.

Black Duck — with some roots in Microsoft — was funneling in Microsoft-centered code automatically (no filtering) to saturate its pool and then claim a dip in GPL. This deceptive claim is still being parroted today and also today we’ve heard of private stories where similar anti-GPL actions were taken in Europe. Programmers are being pressured by bosses (maybe Microsoft-guided) to abandon the licence, maybe because of all the FUD, some of which comes from Microsoft lawyers [1, 2]. Such dissemination of lies (or myths) about the GPL leads to further misuse and misappropriation, as expressed in the following new story:

A report published Sunday in The New York Times says Aleynikov told FBI investigators that he had inadvertently taken about 32MB of proprietary Goldman Sachs software while taking open-source code that he said can be used freely by anyone.

Aleynikov, a high-level developer for Goldman Sachs, was arrested by the FBI on July 3 on charges of stealing computer code that automates the firm’s high-volume trading on stock and commodities markets.

As Sam Dean puts it:

The case discussed in the post concerns a Goldman Sachs Group programmer, Sergey Aleynikov, who was arrested–by the FBI, no less–and charged with stealing computer code designed to automate Goldman Sachs’ massive trading business. Aleynikov’s defense was that he was only trying to download open source software governed by the GPL.

The truth — or at least the verdict — remains to be seen, but why is it that the perception of free as "illegal" lives on?

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 28, 2009 at 5:50 am

    Gravatar

    Here is Matt Asay perpetuating the same deception from Black Duck. From the comments (one sole comment at the moment):

    Matt:
    With all due respect, your analysis is based on flawed data.

    You got your data from http://www.blackducksoftware.com/oss/licenses#top20

    What do these license statistics tell us?
    What are they based on?
    A number of project?

    A number of projects downloaded and used in the real life? a numberof new projects?
    or just a number of projects that have been randomly added in some blackduck repo?

    Does this reflect any kind of actual usage of GPL vs other licenses?

    Does this reflect the importance of a project?

    For instance if the Linux is Kernel is one project, does it count as one in a breakdown of projects licenses?

    Note, the stats that blackduck publishes tell that the Microsoft public license (MsPL) is really quite popular. The fact is that the MsPL license became popular in blackduck stats the day blackduck started indexing the Microsoft supported Codeplex, a site with a strong bias towards the MsPL.
    ( see http://port25.technet.com/archive/2009/07/07/codeplex-10-000-hosted-projects-and-counting.aspx )

    What kind of a joke this is? This is a bad quacking from a badduck.
    Lies, damned lies, and statistics, imho.

    Short of having any element of answers to these questions, the conclusions you draw from lying stats are baseless.

    Philippe

What Else is New


  1. Links 24/10/2014: Microsoft Tax Axed in Italy, Google's Linux (ChromeOS/Android) Leader Promoted

    Links for the day



  2. Links 24/10/2014: GNU/Linux History, Fedora Delay

    Links for the day



  3. Links 23/10/2014: New *buntu, Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  4. Links 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

    Links for the day



  5. Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

    Links for the day



  6. Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  7. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  8. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")



  9. The Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past



  10. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  11. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  12. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  13. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  14. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  15. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  16. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  17. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court



  18. Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

    Links for the day



  19. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  20. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  21. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  22. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  23. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  24. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?



  25. Links 14/10/2014: CAINE 6, New RHEL, Dronecode

    Links for the day



  26. Microsoft's Disdain for Women Steals the Show at a Women's Event

    Steve Ballmer's successor, Satya Nadella, is still too tactless to lie to the audience, having been given --through subversive means -- a platform at a conference that should have shunned Microsoft, a famously misogynistic company



  27. SCOTUS May Soon Put an End to the 'Copyrights on APIs' Question While Proprietary Giants Continue to Harass Android/Linux in Every Way Conceivable

    Google takes its fight over API freedom to the Supreme Court in the Unites States and it also takes that longstanding patent harassment from the Microsoft- and Apple-backed troll (Rockstar) out of East Texas



  28. Patent Lawsuits Almost Halved After SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Software Patents

    The barrier for acceptance of software patent applications is raised in the United States and patent lawsuits, many of which involve software these days, are down very sharply, based on new figures from Lex Machina



  29. Links 13/10/2014: ChromeOS and EXT, Debian Resists Systemd Domination

    Links for the day



  30. Links 12/10/2014: Blackphone Tablet, Sony's Firefox OS Port

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts