A lesson in dealing with the devil
Lindows — I’m sorry, it’s Linspire — sold its soul recently to have Microsoft help them “build a better Linux” (waiting for laughter to die down). Here’s a list of what they got:
True Type fonts.
Windows Media 10 Player.
Patent (ahem) “coverage,” which many people might consider extorted “protection” money, but I digress.
This deal is worse than the Novell deal, says Pamela Jones at Groklaw, and outlines Linspire’s soul-selling-for-mere-pittance, line by line (almost), here. Being the journalist and legal eagle that she is (although she warns that you should consult a real attorney if the agreement affects you in real time), Jones goes to great lengths to show what a dog this deal is and displays, just as she has been tireless in the SCO case, just why it sucks to be Linspire these days.
At the end of her lengthy tome, she makes the following poignant observation which, going forward, should be at the forefront of the GNU/Linux discussion: “For myself, I think it’s time to think really seriously about who should be allowed to use the name Linux, before the trademark loses all its traditional meaning.”
Also, I can’t help wondering how long it will take the people at Linspire to grab pitchforks and torches and race through the streets of Lindowsland looking for Kevin Carmony in order to give him a good tar-and-feathering.
(Larry Cafiero, editor/publisher of Open Source Reporter, is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)