FSFLA: Linux kernel is “open core”

“Linux hasn’t got any Freer between the Linux-2.6.33-libre
announcement, back in March, and the present announcement, that
marks the release of Linux-2.6.36-libre. Linux now contains more
non-Free Software, and more drivers in its Free core that require
separately distributed non-Free Software to function. The welcome
news is that Open Source advocates have joined the Free Software
Movement in denouncing the practice of Free Bait or Open Core.

“OSI director Simon Phipps writes “Open Core Is Bad For You”,
“it’s a game on software freedom”, “it’s a bait-and-switch,
wrapping the same old lock-in in the flag of open source and hoping
you won’t notice.” Bait-and-switch is a deceptive commercial
practice in which one product is announced to attract customers, to
sell another instead.

“OSI director Andrew C. Oliver adds that “Open Core puts the
software user at a disadvantage in the same way that all
proprietary software puts the user at a disadvantage”

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