"There's no doubt that Torvalds has been a major force in
computing and networking. His operating system started out as the
catalysts of most revolutions do--quietly. But as interest in Linux
grew, so did its commercial potential. Determined to share and
improve on his project to the greatest extent possible, Torvalds
committed commercial suicide and conjured up a copyright that would
prohibit anyone--including himself--from using his creation for
capital gain. So extensive and complete was the original copyright
that within months he changed it to a less restrictive GNU General
Public License (GPL), a move he says was the best thing he ever
did. Who are we to disagree?"
"Torvalds' decision to freely distribute his work stands in
stark contrast to the practices of the day. While IPO fever hadn't
yet risen to the pitch of recent years, programmers commonly cashed
in on their personal creations. In the early 1990s--at the same
time Microsoft was seeing incredible commercial successes--the
Linux movement steadily navigated the pitfalls of GPL development
and made refinement after refinement...."
"In the past three or four years, we've started to see the
impact of Torvalds' philosophies on day-to-day business. His
concern for the bottom-line functionality of any project he becomes
involved with is commonplace within the GPL community, where
programmers would rather redo something poorly
implemented--potentially causing other functionality to be
lost--than continue with something less than optimum."
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