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January 06, 2005


Brett Glass

You write: Even the most ardent of the free-software folks are not trying to remove the incentive to be creative.

Not true, Dan. Richard Stallman -- the first and most rabid of this group -- specifically said that his purpose was to eliminate good paying jobs for programmers. Read his essay "The GNU Manifesto." His creation of the GPL -- and the propaganda surrounding it -- was a work of spite, alas.

Dan Gillmor

Brett, I think you're reading selectively from Stallman's writing. I'd suggest folks read it themselves to make up their own minds on this.

But even if he was saying what you claim (and, again, I don't think you're fairly characterizing what he wrote), it's not true that he's removing the incentive to be creative. At most, he'd be trying to remove just one kind of incentive. I think we can agree that there are other kinds.

Mark Rosenthal

It would be nice if Brett Glass actually read what Stallman wrote, rather than reporting what he'd like us to believe Stallman wrote. "The GNU Manifesto" is available for all to read at

The relevant part is the section entitled "Won't programmers starve?" Stallman writes:

"I could answer that nobody is forced to be a programmer. ... But that is the wrong answer because it accepts the questioner's implicit assumption: that without ownership of software, programmers cannot possibly be paid a cent. Supposedly it is all or nothing.

The real reason programmers will not starve is that it will still be possible for them to get paid for programming; just not paid as much as now. ...

Probably programming will not be as lucrative on the new basis as it is now. But that is not an argument against the change. It is not considered an injustice that sales clerks make the salaries that they now do. If programmers made the same, that would not be an injustice either. (IN PRACTICE THEY WOULD STILL MAKE CONSIDERABLY MORE THAN THAT. - (emphasis added))"

Brett is being astoundingly disingenuous, trying to blame the current dearth of decent software development jobs on the GPL, when Gates, Ellison, McNealy - champions of proprietary software, all - are all doing their level best to send as many decent-paying jobs overseas as they possbily can.


Understandi your feelings about Bill.


avarice is the natural tendency of a free society and is politically expedient.fight it at your peril.....economic or otherwise.

Fredric Alan Maxwell

Dan, Gates calling something communist is the exact-same language Steve Ballmer used to describe Linux a few years ago, prompting MSFT's Chinese manager to quit. As far as Gates's claim about IE being the best, can there be any doubt that the Microsoft We-are-the-best-and-the-most-honest-software-company-on-the-planet disconnect continues?

Sue C Kim

I agree with your opnion. With bill gates theory, the envionment of society is cold, harsh and mistrust.

Well I can't express myself but I need somekind support.

I am one of his totured souls. I lost many jobs
because of him. With my name and social security
number I can not use any fax machines.

I would like to meet all the people who are
vitimized by him. I love to make somekind foundation for that.

Brett Glass

Stallman and Microsoft are two peas in a pod, actually. Both are unethical. Both want to destroy others' livelihoods by giving away what they make for a living for free.

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