Corey, I agree with you most definitely as I have just finished reading Kevin Carmony’s post as well concerning the GPLv3 and then went into the forums to read the follow up. I wish I wouldn’t have done so, but I did. WOW! The misinformation that goes around is mind boggling at times.
One of the posts in the forums stated that Linux has written its own death with the GPLv3. Umm, Linux the kernel didn’t for one write the GPLv3, the great people at the Free Software Foundation did (Join the FSF now!). One thing I could help but notice is how worried that Mr. Carmony seemed to be about the demise of the Linux desktop because he feels that the GPLv3 removes a users choice. Like Corey, it was this type of thinking by him that got me thinking he might be in the midst of cutting a deal with Microsoft so he can continue on making his money instead of trying to work with proprietary hardware manufacturers. If we continue to pollute Linux with non-free software, then in fact we are shrinking our sword to the point where we will have nothing more than a butter knife to try and fight for free hardware. If we instead push people to buy from hardware manufacturers who provide freeness, then maybe the proprietary people will listen.
Please don’t say “well AMD is creating new drivers for Linux.” AMD is providing you stripped and limited drivers for Linux, I don’t care who they hired or what they say. And I know I am going to hear the proverbial “well the free hardware sucks, Intel video blows…” Bullshit! I am happier with my Intel setup which isn’t top of the line, and everything was free out of the box. I can run Compiz or Beryl or whatever the hell they are calling it this week just fine. It might not run like it does on NVidia, but is that Intel’s fault or the developers of Compiz and Beryl? I just ran KWin with the bells and whistles for KDE 4 and I was super impressed, actually ran better than the composite stuff everyone is used to today.
There is a reason why some of us are against the restricted drivers and non-free software. If there were enough of us, and I am hoping eventually there will be, then we will have a solid leg to stand on and fight the non-free manufacturers one-on-one and let them know we are for real. But if we keep using their binary, non-free, garbage, then what reasons do they have to create free stuff? None whatsoever. I know choice is a big thing, and the one thing I didn’t see the GPLv3 doing was removing or limiting my choices, but providing me with new tools in order to remain free. I am not going to sit here either and tell you how evil you are for running that non-free stuff, or trying to persuade you not to use it, because then in fact I would be forcing you to choose something you may not want to do on your own. All I can try to do is educate, and I still need a lot of education myself. But it is wrong for people in positions in which they are looked up to, to sit here and tell us how bad the GPLv3 is in its DRAFT versions and how they won’t be able to do this or that. And then to say “…it would end up having to be just like Ubuntu…” Umm, last I checked Ubuntu was the winner…So, the next time one of you distros talk to the devil himself, Steve Ballmer, tell him I said to kiss my free arse!