Re: Why is Fedora not a Free GNU/Linux distributions?

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Les Mikesell wrote:
Alexandre Oliva wrote:
Or...  Microsoft would have used that code and used it to control
people in just the same way it does with every other piece of software
it touches.
The only software that they can use to control anyone is their OS, and
they can only do that as long as no one ships something competitive
enough to attract application development. That hasn't happened,
largely because of GPL restrictions on code that might otherwise have
been used in such products.
Anyway it is the GPL that has kept them rich and in control.
You've got to be trolling me.

I can't remember when I've ever heard a statement about the GPL or Microsoft that was so far removed from reality. There are numerous alternatives to Microsoft which aren't licensed under the GPL: OS X and FreeBSD being two examples under very different licenses.
You seem to be asserting that if we all used the BSD license, or
something else that doesn't require distribution of software to include
source code and redistribution rights, then *someone* (or everyone)
would have taken the Free Software that's available and ... done
something ... that challenged Microsoft, reduced their market share, and
created a competitive system. If you believe that, then explain how
that hasn't happened, despite high-quality systems available from
FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and the like?
The truth of the matter is that GNU/Linux is dominant among Free
Software unix-like platforms *because* of the license, not in spite of
it. People contribute to GPL licensed products because the license
protects their investment. If they put money into improving a GPL
licensed product and attempt to make a living from that, they know that
someone else won't reduce the value of their investment by selling a
proprietary derivative that offers features that they can not. When we
improve a GPL product, we benefit from that, and so does everyone else
who uses the product. If we allow proprietary derivatives, we reduce
the incentive to invest in Free Software. When someone builds a
proprietary derivative, they're not investing in Free Software, they're
investing in their proprietary product.
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