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ZDNet/Yahoo!: Open source leaders duke it out

Jun 25, 2001, 16:26 (95 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dietmar Mueller)

No one's going to like any excerpt we offer on this piece, which involves Ransom Love getting around to responding to Richard Stallman calling Caldera "parasites." We're also fairly certain RMS won't care to be called an "open source" leader, as long as we're qualifying things. Beyond the sniping ("Did Richard Stallman ever invest £50m in Linux? We did.") is also a look at Mr. Love's attitude with regard to Linux as the basis of a successful business: "before [Red Hat] could become that successful, they had to develop proprietary software. So why are people so outraged? Because they want everything for free.

"You can't call our business model parasitic," said Love. "We add value to Linux (news - web sites), so it can become successful. We integrate Linux in the Back Office. And we do all the marketing that's necessary. Did Richard Stallman ever invest £50m in Linux? We did. I have been involved in the Linux community since my time at Novell in 1994. With 'Lizard' we developed the first installation service for Linux ever." Lizard Unattended Install was released in 1999.

"...I remember well the cooperation with [Red Hat's chief executive] Bob Young. We developed RPM together, but they've got the credit. What I'm trying to say is: if we are parasitic then we are symbiotic parasites, although I wouldn't call us parasites at all. We gave the Linux community more than Stallman with his libraries. Our work helps Linux so much more than a few lines of code."

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