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I, Cringely: Open and Shut

Aug 13, 2004, 10:00 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robert X. Cringely)

"Last week's WiFi-in-the-sky column generated a lot of reader interest that we'll get back to next week, but first I have to write about an issue I'm tangentially involved in--how people can and can't make money from Open Source software distributed under the Free Software Foundation's General Public License (GPL). Sveasoft, the little router firmware company on an island off the coast of Sweden that I have written about before, switched this week to requiring paid subscription access to its support forums and to download beta versions of its firmware releases for running Linux on various WiFi routers. This change in policy has created a minor firestorm of nerd indignation that I think is not only unwarranted, but stems from essential ignorance of both the GPL and the way businesses are run. It is time for some people to grow up..."

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