Subject: Re: brainstorming
From: Thorsten Glaser <>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2005 20:21:29 +0000

Benjamin Rossen dixit:

>However, my main point is - I believe - still valid. Many distributions do not 
>include any proprietary elements (as far as they can).

Right. Take OpenBSD.

Their problems are proprietary elements and GPL'd elements. The latter
is the worse problem.

>The GPL is designed to 

Right, it's forcing. Many Open Source people do not like force.

The motto of the OpenBSD hackathons is: "Shut up and hack."

>free according to the FSF definition. 

As your parent poster already told you, you're mixing up free software
(as in FSF) and open source, again.

>Well, now, that is not happening. Where would Microsoft be without TCP/IP - 
>running its own little Redmod Wide Web on NetBUI?

Because the BSD people are _happy_ that Microsoft first used components
of their TCP/IP suite.

>Why has nobody declared the 
>Microsoft IE to be derivative, and force them to release it under the GPL? 

Because NCSA Mosaic was - luckily - not GNU GPL'd.

If it were, there had been no such thing as MSIE and NN, which would have
prevented the WWW from being used by the stupid masses which need this kind
of web browsers and operating systems as OS/2 and Windows(R). While many
techies would agree here that'd be a good thing, cheap internet access for
most of us wouldn't have happened either.

I strongly believe we need a world where proprietary, free-as-in-FSF and
free-as-in-BSD (this includes binary freeware) can coexist peacely. At
present, the GPL advocates (not including the FSF, they're keeping more
quiet lately, fighting patents etc. instead) are the greatest danger to
this co-existence, even worse than SCO and Microsoft.

>(1) TCP/IP was not released under the GPL license. It was just given away; 
>that is, put into the public domain. 

TCP/IP is not a software, it's a specification. Specifications must be free.

The BSD TCP/IP suite was not public domain. Read your favourite Windows(R)
manual, somewhere in there the UCB advertising clause is printed (might
not be true any more, but I know it used to be).

>The Open Source and the Free Software Foundation Communities (we are really 


>I suppose it is too late to put something so essential as TCP/IP into such a 

It's a specification. If "we" are starting to protect and licence our
specifications, "the others" would do so, too. Where would your little
free software world be without a way to hack into SMB/CIFS and so on?

>(or correct me if I am wrong; perhaps the W3C can still claim 

The W3C didn't invent TCP/IP. Please, please do us a favour and start
reading books and other material about history of computing, such as
and don't come back prior.

>On Saturday 15 January 2005 13:25, Bjorn Reese wrote:
>> Benjamin Rossen wrote: