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CNET: Bill Gates: GPL is "Pac-Man-Like"

Jun 20, 2001, 00:48 (57 Talkback[s])

[ Thanks to Myddrin (and a few others) for this link. ]

We can all go ahead and have a case of the vapors: Bill Gates is finally on the record as not liking the GPL. It's "Pac-Man-like," which we peg at somewhere better than "cancerous" and maybe worse than "un-American" if the responses of our European audience to that particular charge are any indication.

"Gates said Microsoft's stance on open source "has been misconstrued in many ways. It's a topic that you can leap on and say, 'Microsoft doesn't make free software.' Hey, we have free software, the world will always have free software. I mean, if you characterize it that way, that's not right. But if you say to people, 'Do you understand the GPL?' (then) they're pretty stunned when the Pac-Man-like nature of it is described to them.

"The ecosystem where you have free software and commercial software--and customers always get to decide which they use--that's a very important and healthy ecosystem," Gates said.

The GPL, he continued, "breaks that cycle--that is, it makes it impossible for a commercial company to use any of that work or build on any of that work. So what you saw with TCP/IP or Sendmail or the browser could never happen. We believe there should be free software and commercial software; there should be a rich ecosystem that works around that."

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As an added bonus for Microsoft watchers, NewsForge has a brief piece describing a Microsoft gaming site that runs Linux (cue more vapors). To round out the Microsoft news trifecta for the day, we also have unconfirmed reports that CNN Moneyline is airing guest comments that blame the economic slowdown on the Microsoft trial. VA Linux is no doubt taking comfort in having something on which to blame its appearance on Fucked Company's front page today.

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