Richard Stallman accuses Canonical of spying on Ubuntu users.
Canonical, the company behind the wildly popular Ubuntu distro is under siege from Free Software Foundation president Richard Stallman. Stallman has accused Canonical of spying on users, and oddly enough, they aren’t even denying it. In fact, they even admit plans are in the works to expand their efforts in upcoming releases.
While anticipation continues to build for Windows 7, not everyone is stoked about Microsoft's upcoming OS, or Windows in general. Enter the Free Software Foundation, which plans to stage a demonstration today in Boston where it will encourage businesses to look the other way come October 22nd and consider free alternatives instead.
"There's kind of this attitude of 'Well, it's better than Vista,'" so we are kind of working against the grain," Peter Brown, Executive Director of Free Software Foundation, said in an interview with Cnet.
The demonstration will focus mainly on Windows 7, but according to Brown, his Foundation's beef is with Microsoft's approach in general and not necessarily with any specifics of the upcoming OS.
And it's not just Microsoft that has the foundation in a tizzy. The group is also concerned with Apple's Snow Leopard OS, which will be available later this week.
The Free Software Foundation filed suit in U.S. District Court today, alleging that networking giant Cisco violated FSF copyrights by not giving its users the ability to share and modify the open-source software it uses as the basis for some of its hardware. That's a mouthful, so here's what happened: According FSF, the company found that Cisco was using a GNU-licensed version of Linux to power its firmware. Only, Cisco wasn't giving its customers the full access to the source code that the GNU license specifies as a condition of use!
Microsoft's sponsorship is at the Platinum level ($100,000/year), where it joins Google and Yahoo!
Not Just Money, Patches for Open Source Projects
These sources also report that Microsoft is also providing a patch that provides ADOdb database abstraction layer support for the PHP SQL driver developed in conjunction with Zend Technologies. What may be more significant to open-source advocates is that Microsoft is licensing the patch under the Free Software Foundation's lesser GPL (LGPL) licensing terms. This appears to be the first time that Microsoft has licensed code using a FSF licensing agreement.
What's In It for Microsoft?
According to The Register:
The decision to work on PHP fits with the overall strategy of improving the language's interoperability with Windows and stemming the loss of PHP application deployments to Linux. LGPL allows code to be used with proprietary programs - such as SQL Server - unlike its GPL cousin.
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