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free software

This article describes thoughts and studies by Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, who concludes that altruism may not be the primary thing that drives the production of Free Software and that it may actually be good old self interest even though exchange of values isn't always a direct one.

"In "Cooking pot markets", Ghosh made the point that these transactions need not be one-to-one. "It doesn't really matter whether you get something back specifically for what you've given as long as you think that you're getting something out of the system that's more than what you put in," he says. The 2002 study and subsequent work have showed clearly that this is how open-source developers feel about their contributions.

For long, Java was among software that presented some major legal and political hurdles to GNU/Linux. Including Java in a GNU/Linux distribution meant tainting it with non-free software, something not all GNU/Linux users are keen on using. Another which the Java issue is usually paired with is Adobe Flash, and indeed the two were on the spotlight of FSF's efforts of developing some kind of a solution, a Free alternative. But today, Sun is resolving the Java issue once and for all. Java is becoming Free Software and Richard Stallman, the FSF founder himself, is endorsing it. What a great day and a big win for Free Software! Let's hope that Flash goes next. There is some hope after the recent partnership between Mozilla Corp. and Adobe.

Novell Sells Out?

Update: Groklaw reveals more: "MS FUDs like SCO, Red Hat Responds. and MS/Novell Transcript Available" - It's worth a read as the situation is getting ever more interesting with the latest words from Ballmer, calling for patent talks with competing GNU/Linux vendors
Groklaw has some strong words in regard to the recently forged partnership between Novell and Microsoft. There are a few intriguing points to consider. The first is the seeming legitimization of Microsoft's software patents rights over some of GNU/Linux code by Novell's royalty payments to Microsoft which implies that Microsoft has just set up the only legal and licensed route to distributing GNU/Linux through Novell (as Bruce Perens explains). The second is a potential violation of GPL that may have ensued by the initiation of the patent license between Novell and MS.

There is a very good article on Free Software Magazine encouraging for those who stand up for Free Software. I'll quote one of the best parts: "Let's not get off the freedom train so soon. The Free Software Foundation has been nurturing this vision along for so many years, and a little commercial success doesn't change the ultimate goal. I'm unable to articulate very well what I see as the problem here: that this vision of free software and a free society has grown steadily for so many years, but because we've gone through a spurt of rapid growth thanks to corporations realizing one aspect of the value of free software (its low cost and power), suddenly people want to say the FSF's approach is no longer relevant.