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Re: [seul-sci] [Fwd: Credit where credit is due]

>>>>> "B" == Bill Ries-Knight <brk@slip.net> writes:

    B> Gary, Did you cc:RMS on this email?

Do you think I am suicidal? ;)

Richard and I have had this conversation before; I'm not going to
convince RMS by any logic because the basis of this argument is not
scientific. It is based on unprovable suspicions and suppositions
about namespaces, popular perception, and the actions "they" will take
given two alternative namespaces.  Since we cannot construct parallel
universes where one uses GNU/Linux exclusively and another uses Linux
exclusively, and since there is no way to 'erase' one term from any
given population and replace it with the other, there is no way to
ascertain any causal effects of the name change.

My point to RMS was that 'Linux', in the popular sense does not
describe kernel either. To some it describes a shrinkwrap box with a
red or top hat logo on it surround GNU, BSD, Artistic and other
licenced 'open source' software, to many others it describes a
revolutionary way of using and building computing services. Neither
perception has _any_ relation to either GNU copyright ownership or to
Linux services --- a very similar computing experience can be had in
FreeBSD (which is not GNU/FreeBSD) or OS-X.

Yes, I'd rather RMS concentrate his considerable talents on the real
issues of explaining to commercial development managers and software
buyers why GPL is better than just 'open source', but Richard doesn't
see it that way, and I think his tenacity on this issue does his
movement more harm than good.  IMHO, it would be more useful to push
for recognition that certain softwares such as Linux (the kernel) are
GPL and why this is more advantageous than a BSD or Artistic license.

As a final argument, and then I will waste no more bandwidth on it, I
will appeal to falsifiability as a criterion to name Linux 'Linux'.
Consider Emacs vs XEmacs.  RMS does _not_ require XEmacs to be called
GNU XEmacs, in fact, he disowns it and derides it, even though it is
largely based on a fork of his own code.  Why distance the FSF from
XEmacs? Because it's authors have not relenquished their copyrights to
the FSF.  The Linux kernel has also not relenquished it's copyrights,
in fact, Linus has neglected to collect any formal statements from his
authors and many sections of the kernel have anonymous authorships.
If we explore any Linux distribution, even Debian, the problem gets
worse as we wade through a jungle of licenses and missing licenses
that violate its acceptability as a 'GNU' product.  By his own XEmacs
exclusion criteria, no Linux is a GNU/Linux. QED.

Gary Lawrence Murphy <garym@linux.ca>: office voice/fax: 01 519 4222723
T(C)Inc Business Innovations through Open Source http://www.teledyn.com
KernelWiki Community Linux Docs: http://kernelbook.sourceforge.net/wiki