Free Choice: the "Social Business" model and Free Software

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| Free Software developers fall into two main categories: those that stand by
| the principles behind free software - patent-free, license-free and
| unrestricted distribution (for example, Richard Stallman's admirable stance);
| and those that are simply happy to compromise to some extent, for example to
| download libdvdcss to watch DVDs, or to install proprietary software such as
| Skype, on the basis that there is simply no (or no better) alternative (for
| example, Ubuntu which supports all kinds of proprietary firmware and binary
| drivers, and gets itself into enormous difficulties as a result).
| [...]
| Ironically, these famous concepts of "Freedom of Expression" and "Freedom of
| Information" are - or were - at the core of both the French and the United
| States constitutions, amongst other Sovereign States such as the United
| Kingdom. These concepts that we believe in are being systematically
| undermined and eroded at every level, world-wide, in desperate, insatiable,
| insane and inexplicable ways.

Microsoft new weapon: smears and FUD....

Bill Gates, which we disagree with

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| As but one more piece of testamentary evidence that the old guard at
| Microsoft needs to be shown the door, Bill Gates has demonstrated
| conclusively that he has exactly zero understanding of open source, or at
| least zero desire to have an intelligent discussion about it.
| [...]
| Open source insists upon leaving software open to further improvement. And if
| you were to read the European Union's report on open source, you'd see that
| it's actually a massive opportunity for improved GDP growth.
| What open source does is ensure that customers share equally in the economic
| benefits of software, rather than having profits hoarded by one company
| (i.e., Microsoft's model). The GPL does this perhaps best of all. In another
| age, Mr. Gates would have found the GPL to be a dear friend to his better
| capitalist instincts. It's actually a close cousin to a proprietary license
| in some ways, except that it protects through openness, not closed source.


A Patent Lie

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| Microsoft sang a very different tune in 1991. In a memo to his
| senior executives, Bill Gates wrote, "If people had understood how
| patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented,
| and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete
| standstill today." Mr. Gates worried that "some large company will
| patent some obvious thing" and use the patent to "take as much of
| our profits as they want."

Sun exec accuses Microsoft of 'patent terrorism'

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| The efforts of Microsoft to pressure the Linux community over alleged and
| unspecified patents is akin to "patent terrorism", according to a local
| executive for Sun Microsystems.

Microsoft, the art of Corporate Terrorism.

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| Microsoft, no longer the technological leader in the Computer Desktop
| market, is taking on a terrorist role in its attempt remain in power
| at all costs. (see the link to the CNN story below)
| The tactic is intended to frighten current, and would be, free
| software users away from products that Microsoft just can't compete
| with. It's not a new tactic, but for the first time desperation is
| beginning to show.

Convicted Monopolist Terrorizes Software Industry

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| That headline is designed to grab your attention. Sensationalistic as
| it may be, it also happens to be true, if what you mean by 'terrorize'
| is to provoke fear.
| If you've been following the presidential race in the United States,
| you know the present crop of candidates have been exploiting the fear
| of the American people as they never have before in the history of
| the country.