[linux-elitists] The hairball speaks

jim@netgate.com jim@netgate.com
Tue Sep 9 21:03:10 PDT 2003

> Darl makes one good point before launching into his "Ha ha!" and
> subsequent lecturing:
> From http://www.sco.com/company/openletter/
> | No one can tolerate DoS attacks and other kinds of attacks in
> | this Information Age economy that relies so heavily on the
> | Internet. Mr. Raymond and the entire Open Source community need
> | to aggressively help the industry police these types of crimes.
> | If they fail to do so it casts a shadow over the entire Open
> | Source movement and raises questions about whether Open Source is
> | ready to take a central role in business computing. We cannot
> | have a situation in which companies fear they may be next to
> | suffer computer attacks if they take a business or legal position
> | that angers the Open Source community. Until these illegal
> | attacks are brought under control, enterprise customers and
> | mainstream society will become increasingly alienated from anyone
> | associated with this type of behavior. 
> We honestly cannot afford to let scriptkiddies and Slashdotters
> cause these sort of problems in the name of FOSS, nor can we have
> a representative (Raymond) who also mouths off with so little
> forethought.  Mr. Raymond (AFAIK) commited no DoS attacks nor
> similar crimes, but his most recent statement itself was little
> more than chestbeating.

Raymond's day in the sun is likely over, since he enjoys
being the outspoken spokesman for OSS.  Real programmers write code.

> Not that I don't *really* agree with you, but it's tempting to take the
> opposite side for the sake of argument. What if anyone actively opposing
> free software, legally or technically, were automatically subject to
> massive attacks, DoS or otherwise? Patent suit against a free software
> author? Your mail server goes down. Act like SCO? You might as well just
> take your whole business offline right now.

What if we just ignore them?

The software business is becoming a lot like the construction
business.  Project after project after project, and it belongs mostly
to those who do the work; architects, designers and builders.

Where do MSFT and SCO fit in this world?

> Sure, businesses would feel "alienated". But it'd also make a hell of a
> lot more business sense to not oppose free software, or even to just
> adopt it. It'd start influencing how much they'd pay in insurance,
> everything.

Or they could just support SCO, MSFT and Hollywood and declare FOSS
illegal.  A "danger to society".

> I'm not saying it's a good scenario, but it's worth thinking about how
> that sort of strategy would play out. It's what guerrilla fighters
> worldwide have been doing for a very long time, and a lot of those have
> gotten respect and influence out of it.

I don't see how this makes the world better.


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