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TechWeb: Torvalds: The Truth Shall Make You... Rich?; Comdex Q&A

Nov 14, 2000, 20:52 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paula Rooney)

"Moderator: What do you see as the big issue with respect to the internalization of Linux?

Torvalds: What is fascinating about the international side of Linux is that I've met a lot of people outside of the U.S. who are just doing their own thing and not just translating U.S.-based programs for their own locale. All these people can make their own decisions, and that's more important than IBM selling 15,000 terminals in Japan."

"Moderator: What are the potential legal conflicts using GPLs in other countries?

Torvalds: It's not that the GPL isn't understood; it's the notion of copyright. Most legal problems here in the U.S. have to do with intellectual property law in general -- nothing like that would happen anywhere else in the world. Outside of the U.S, people don't care about copyright, and not because they're evil, but because they can't afford to."

"Audience question: With so many Linux distributions out there, isn't that eventually going to cause fragmentation?

Torvalds: We'll certainly see fragmentation. You'll see people interested in high-end and they'll fragment off from people doing stuff for the PDA. The two will never really meet. They will use different tools, but there will be patterns that apply to both. Diversification is fine. The problem is when you get in-fighting -- that is, when you use your tools to destroy the other -- that's the problem and that's what happened with Unix. The open source community is slightly different than that."

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