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Introduction to Freedom

If you want to know what freedom is, read on, we will define freedom and explain some of the important issues regarding its preservation in our society, which we believe you should care about. We will also try to shed some light around some of the common misunderstandings regarding these issues.

When we discuss freedom on (as we so often do one way or another) we are usually talking about rights people should always have and be able to exercise in any situation. In basically all cases the freedom comes down to a rather simple and easy to understand principle:

When generally talking about our community and software it builds and promotes, we use various differing terms and acronyms; "Free Software", "Open Source", "Linux", "GNU/Linux", "FOSS", "FLOSS" etc. To outsiders this may seem counterproductive because it confuses people, but in such an open and diverse community ecosystem this shouldn't come as a surprise. Various people hold various perspectives and hence form various views on issues that concern them. Some sort of a polarization is almost inevitable.

The contest resulted in some superior and innovative work. "Some of the templates show just how advanced and flexible's OpenDocument format is as both a Word and Spreadsheet ODF processor. The winning templates and many others breaks a myth that cannot do advanced editing functions like Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel. It is obvious that has come of age and is more than just a free alternative to MS Office but is an extremely worthy competitor" said Russell Ossendryver, Managing Director of

The Free Software Foundation acts as the benevolent force guiding the computer industry. It protects the users of software from the baddies, the list of which very often includes the names Microsoft, Apple, and TiVo.

But what happens when the benevolent force transforms into something of a hypocrit?

When Novell signed the now-famous agreement with Microsoft, I must admit that I was quite puzzled. For a company making most of its business by selling free and open source software, this seemed unreal; maybe there was a good reason for that, after all. But when I read the part on the patents and the indemnification of customers, I really found out that it was quite odd and contradicting anything I ever read about the GPL.

I have however refrained from giving in the Novell-bashing fashion for several reasons.

The Free Software community is without a doubt today an important part of the overall IT business ecosystem. This community counts everyone from individuals to large corporations and is gathered around the common good that is Free Software, licensed under Free Software licenses such as BSD and GPL which also shields this common pool from outside exploitation. Corporations should already be realizing that they have to count with this community and its stance towards them. It is always good to cooperate with this community.

In a recent article on LinuxJournal, its Editor in Chief Nicholas Petreley wrote that we should be abandoning all code related to Novell and SuSE because it may become tainted with Microsoft's "Intellectual Property". He quoted a note with which he signed Bruce Perens' Open Letter where he says the following:

The wikipedia quite simply defines what is a conglomerate.

A conglomerate is a large company that consists of divisions of often seemingly unrelated businesses.

RegDeveloper has caught up with Eben Moglen to talk about the Novell's deal with Microsoft, FSF's response to it and GPLv3 as the basis of that response. Instead of litigation, which has been suggested by some on the basis of potential violation of the GPLv2, the tool which will be used against this largely negatively criticized deal is the new version of the GPL.

It is increasingly becoming clear what the deal between Microsoft and Novell really means for GNU/Linux. Hear it from Microsoft itself: Ballmer: Linux users owe Microsoft. Can you hear the sound of those rattles?