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Re: "The Free software Movement is a Scam" -Alfred Szmidt

From: George Ellison
Subject: Re: "The Free software Movement is a Scam" -Alfred Szmidt
Date: 14 Oct 2005 19:11:11 +0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.4

"Karen Hill" <> writes:

> Bobbie Gill wrote:
> > Karen Hill wrote:
> > > I checked my inbox and look what I found:
> > >
> > >
> > > From:     "Alfred M. Szmidt" <>
> > > To:       "Karen Hill" <>
> > > CC:
> > > Subject:   Re: Linus CHARGING $5,000 to use Linux name!!!!!
> > > Date:      Fri, 19 Aug 2005 18:56:53 +0200
> > >
> > > The free software movement is a scam.
> > >
> > > The Free software movement is about freedom, not price.  Charging
> > > money for a copy of a program is perfectly OK, and has always been.
> > >
> >
> >
> > Yeah, sometime when I check my inbox I get invitations to re-input my
> > personal information for my ebay account (never have had an ebay
> > account, but I guess the phishers don't care). I also seem to win quite
> > a few lotteries in the U.K. And I've also been solicited to help some
> > poor chap get his father's millions out of Nigeria.
> >
> > The point I'm trying to make is that there often is quite a bit of B.S.
> > to be found in the typical inbox.
> Except this is the real deal.  I have the headers to prove it (If you
> press me I will post the message with the headers).   He responded to
> me privately by email in response to a usenet post I made about Linus
> charging 5 grand to use the linux name.  Alfred's  point I guess is
> that the source code is important and the freedom to modify it and not
> the price of that source code.  But here is that catch...what good is
> freedom if I can't afford it?  Isn't non-free software that I can use
> MORE important than expensive GPL software like Redhat Linux?

The 5 grand, according to the Linux Mark Institute (
is for for-profit corporations with > 1 million dollars in sales to use the
trademarked Linux name as part of their own trademark (Rates are less for 
non-profit and less successful for-profit endeavors). The software itself
is under the General Public License, so no one (including Linus himself) has
the power to limit further redistribution of the software. (An exception 
applies when talking about proprietary/open source offerings such as Linspire
or Xandros. As far as Red Hat, Fedora is completely free to redistribute, but
RHEL is not). 

> A box license from MS is a one time purchase for a reasonable price,
> redhat you must pay every year.  MS gives you security updates via
> windows update for free.  Not so with Linux in terms of redhat.  Like I
> said before what good is freedom if I can't afford it?

I don't know if you're honestly bothered by this, or just trolling, but the
explanation given above is AFAIK correct. No one has to pay to use open
source software unless they choose to.

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