Rodolfo J. Paiz wrote:
While your explanation of the birth of GNU/Linux is excellent, the above paragraphs are a crock. As far as I know and recall, only a very small part of the software market "used to have" those four freedoms. None of the early Unix variants that I recall were either Free (capitalized to mean open-source and with those freedoms) or free (with a price of zero).
I may be incorrect on my UNIX history, but my understanding was that during the early Bell labs years (especially before the explosion of personal computers) UNIX source was distributed with almost no regard for software licensing, and for "free" monetarily as well--or at most around the cost of media. Even after UNIX was copyrighted, relatively "free" implementations like BSD and Minix still existed.
You may quite possibly be correct, in which case my statement that "none of the early Unix variants ... were free" would be proven incorrect. My apologies if so.
However, I will sustain that Rui's description is, IMHO, not an accurate portrayal. Describing these cases as the status quo for all software, later besieged and beleaguered by the Evil Software Licenses which threatened to take over the world by making the user "a potential criminal" is... well, at the very least, colorful. Copying most software was prohibited, else my Nibbles, DiskEdit, and other programs would not have gotten as much use. :-)
-- Rodolfo J. Paiz [email protected] http://www.simpaticus.com