FSFLA: Linux kernel is "open core"
Posted Nov 9, 2010 15:14 UTC (Tue) by anselm
In reply to: FSFLA: Linux kernel is "open core"
Parent article: FSFLA: Linux kernel is "open core"
Why would they have put them in, if it's not to their (presumed) advantage?
What about »so people who happen to own the device in question actually get to use it with Linux«?
Supporting a large variety of hardware devices makes Linux more of a viable proposition as a general-purpose operating system. This increases general interest in Linux and may even cause companies in the Linux business to make money, some of which may filter down to some kernel developers (not all of it to all of them). It is safe to say that many kernel developers are not in the game for personal monetary gain but because they enjoy doing difficult things for the benefit of the Linux community. This includes helping people actually use Linux (as opposed to preaching people sermons on what they really should be doing, buying, etc.) by adding whatever support is required for Linux to deal with the hardware that people have. These activities may earn most of them nothing except a certain amount of name recognition. I think this type of »advantage« is quite different from the very tangible advantage a company like SugarCRM, Inc., derives from selling the interesting pieces of their software for money.
As an aside, labelling the kernel developers as enemies of software freedom when one does nothing, oneself, to advance software freedom except trying to curtail the freedom of others to make their own lifestyle choices is disingenuous. The community tends to listen to doers more than talkers – and the FSF of the 1980s at least tried actively to come up with and promote free alternatives to many proprietary software choices of the day, but I don't see the FSFLA trying to develop free replacements of the firmware they are attempting to expunge from the Linux kernel.
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