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The Perfect Crime
Why doesn't Linus react?
Breaking and entering is risky: you can be found on the premises and arrested.
Cybercrime is smarter: you're six thousand miles away and nobody can ever find you.
But the most ingenious form of crime uses only words. That's the game Richard M Stallman is playing.
Back in 1984 when his colleagues at MIT left him behind for their own startup and greener pastures Stallman had a bit of a thinker. Not the most original, energetic, or productive programmer ever, he had to come up with something. He came up with GNU.
GNU - 'GNU's not Unix' - was to be a free Unix. Stallman announced his goal of creating such a Unix. He had bits and pieces of code from MIT to help him along. He never came close to achieving his goals.
Miles away in Helsinki Finland a university student, unaware there already was a 'free' Unix called FreeBSD, started a project to create the same thing as Stallman. The difference was he succeeded: today Linux has been to Mars. That's how good it is. It's embraced by IBM and after all IBM are IBM.
Stallman saw his chance: after first doing all in his power to stymie the Linux project he decided to usurp the glory instead: he started referring to Linux as 'GNU/Linux'. As a justification for this robbery he cited the fact Linus used the MIT based GNU compiler.
If such rationales held any merit hundreds of millions of computer users would be using Zortech Windows today, as that's the compiler Microsoft used to build its operating system. Or it could be called Berkeley Windows as that's the sockets layer Microsoft got from the Regents of California.
A lot of people do not like the way Stallman has leeched onto the Linux sensation: they see the way the Stallman sympathetic Wikipedians try to rewrite history and only devote back page columns to the so called 'name controversy'. Good luck: should anyone try to set the record straight they'll find their work erased in a matter of minutes and their IP blocked.
All the while Stallman encourages the lifeless weak willed cult around him, doing all he can to build himself into a dictator.
And what did the real player Linus Torvalds say about all this? He didn't have time to quabble. His was to create an operating system, not fart around with words. If Stallman was going to latch 'GNU' onto the Linux name he didn't care.
He should have. For Stallman's taken the next step in his theft: he's using his weapon of words to completely remove 'Linux' from relevancy for its own product. From the FSF front page:
'The FSF promotes the development and use of free software, particularly the GNU operating system, used widely in its GNU/Linux variant.'
GNU operating system? GNU/Linux variant? The words are ridiculous. 'Variant' implies there are other alternatives when there aren't. If you don't use the 'GNU/Linux variant' of the 'GNU operating system' you don't use anything - for there isn't anything else. Stallman's sticky fingers again.
From the GNU front page:
'The GNU Project was launched in 1984 to develop a complete Unix-like operating system which is free software: the GNU system. Variants of the GNU operating system, which use the kernel called Linux, are now widely used; though these systems are often referred to as 'Linux', they are more accurately called GNU/Linux systems.'
Notice the deft footwork: now ALL systems based on Linux are actually Stallman's.
And don't kid yourself for a second: were Stallman ever to achieve ownership of all these systems - and able to exact a FOSS tax from the big players such as IBM and Red Hat and Novell - you'd suddenly see him moving out of his cold water flat and into a fancier one in Beacon Hill, acquiring an iPhone, and hiring a chauffeur driven limousine to take him to his corner supermarket.
Stallman is weird. He has no sexual relationship with man, woman, or animal but claims on his website he has sex with his potted plants. He's possibly the worst lyricist ever and even worse as a singer. At formal FOSS dinners he plucks hairs from his own beard and tosses them in his food.
Stallman's master plan is to cripple everyone with his end user licence. And unbelievably enough he encourages developers to cite copyright not for themselves but for him. That's right: FOSS projects are regularly copyrighted not to their authors but to Richard M Stallman. And somehow the brainwashed of the FOSS movement think that's a good thing.
Stallman's is playing a very dirty game. FOSS is being attacked on two fronts: the merciless unrelenting Microsoft market manipulation machine and Richard M Stallman. FOSS needs better; the world needs better.
Why is Linus Torvalds doing nothing?