Re: Solaris 2.6 and Linux

linux kernel account (
Sat, 27 Sep 1997 13:49:36 -0400 (EDT)

> FSF-style Free Software (Linux included) carries an unacceptable cost
> for most embedded systems: the need to distribute source. No one wants
> to distribute source code for the embedded control system for every
> device they manufacture and distribute (think microwave ovens, cars,
> elevators, VCRs, etc.).
> Its not that its a secret, its just that its a pain in the ass.
> I discussed making an exception for this case with RMS several years
> ago, and although he didn't object to it philosophically, no one was
> willing to invest the necessary effort to properly draft the appropriate
> language for the GPL.

This is hogwash!

" When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not
price. Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you
have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for
this service if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it
if you want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it
in new free programs; and that you know you can do these things. "


" For example, if you distribute copies of such a program, whether
gratis or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights that
you have. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the
source code. And you must show them these terms so they know their
rights. "


"In addition, mere aggregation of another work not based on the Program
with the Program (or with a work based on the Program) on a volume of
a storage or distribution medium does not bring the other work under
the scope of this License. "

-- The GPL

Just stick up a damn directory on your FTP site. If anyone wants the
source they can get it from there.. As for 'secrets' all your silly secret
parts would be written by you and thus not have to licened under the GPL..
If anyone wants the Source to your embeded stuff, you could just tell
them: Get linux from sunsite, the rest is propritary. (Actaully according
to the GPL, you must also make it available on physical medium, for a fee.
But most people should not care, and would prefer electrionic esp if you
calculated the cost of physical as Floppies and $5.15 an hour for some
homeless person to copy them..)

I'm am SOOOOO sick of people making inapproiate assumptions about the
meaning of the GPL when it is CLEARLY SPELT OUT in the GPL..

I am SO tired of people telling me there cant be commercial software for
linux because 'then we would have to give out the source'. The FSF is
about FREEDOM not restrictions.

I SHOCKED to see this kind of ignorance on THIS list.

It is quickly becoming my belief that 99% of why free software isn't used
more in commercial enviroments is this ignorance rather then the persived
lack of support, etc.

Gregory Maxwell