[sclug] Cheap'n'nasty Tesco Linux machines

Philip Hands phil at hands.com
Wed Apr 9 12:17:15 UTC 2008

On Wed, Apr 09, 2008 at 11:51:46AM +0100, Tom Carbert-Allen wrote:
> The reason I like 
> the free software movement is because I DON'T have to talk about legal 
> nonsense all the time, I can just get on with doing cool things with 
> cheap boxen.

Well, someone has to I'm afraid -- if it wasn't for us anal folks at
Debian getting in a strop about the original KDE/Qt license problem,
I very much doubt that Trolltech would have released Qt under the GPL.

That would have left people in a situation where there was a submarine
copyright disaster waiting to happen -- if for example someone like
Microsoft had bought Trolltech and said "Sorry folks but KDE is windows
only now, oh and you owe us a license fee to boot"

Something vaguely similar is now afoot with Sun's licensing of XFS.
If people were not concentrating they'd cheerfully cut&paste that code
into the Linux kernel, and then Sun would be able to come and take your
cool toys away.

I'm not saying that you should spend your time worrying about it, but
you should not be surprised if you get a reaction when you make poorly
justified statements about what licenses or other technical terms mean.

Equally, if you were hanging out with microbiologists, I don't suggest
you'd have to start caring about the intimate details of bacterial
infection, but if you piped up that TB could be cured by sitting in a
sauna, you would expect to get a reaction.

Cheers, Phil.

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