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August, 2007:

Microsoft vs Free Software Foundation

Cornered, Microsoft tries to say they don’t have to abide by the GPL3 license.

Lewis A. Mettler is an attorney who often comments on Open Source issues. In this article he’s explaining the use of the word believe when used by an attorney. Which is a direct response to Microsoft’s statement that they do not believe they have to follow GPL3.

He states:

“But, the B word was used by Microsoft and I do feel you need to understand under which circumstances lawyers use such terms. Their statement was:

“We do not believe that Microsoft needs a license under GPL to carry out any aspects of its collaboration with Novell, including its distribution of support certificates, even if Novell chooses to distribute GPL3 code in the future. “

I trimmed off the second part of that statement which you may read in my other article here.

But, I wanted to focus upon the use of the term “believe” when it comes from a lawyer. Of course they wanted to deny what they might refer to as the negative. But, they could have used other terms like “We do not think…”, etc.

Why did they use “We do not believe”?

Actually it is interesting and relates to how that term is used in religion as well as the courtroom. In most religions, the term “believe” relates to something that they can not prove but have to accept for one reason or another. And they normally have to do with miracles and all sorts of other stuff.

In the courtroom it is a true weasel word. ”

Matt Asay from CNET want’s us to turn the other cheek to Microsoft

Today I read an article by Matt Asay in CNET’s news.com. In it he speaks up against the Open Source community for not welcoming Microsoft’s attempt to get their incompatible license approved. He proclaims the Open Source Initiative’s (OSI) is discriminating against MS which Matt thinks is “explicitly against the OSI’s Open Source Definition”.

That is a totally false assumption. Their purpose is to look out for the Open Source community’s best interest and not approve licenses that does not comply with it.

Further Mike calls it a “horse-whipping” and says “I don’t believe in discrimination of any kind…even of ‘bad people.'”

My response to him:

Mike I don’t know you from a hole in the wall, but judging from this article I sure would not consider you safe to keep around. Per your writing you would be the one letting some lunatic into my house with my children. Or a pyromaniac or something. After all you say one cannot discriminate against anyone, regardless!

People who cannot discriminate themselves are usually people that should be discriminated against due to some fatal flaw in their character. I’m not really trying to mount some attack against you, but your logic is so dangerous that not speaking up against your idea would be a dereliction to my community.

Your bio says you have “nearly a decade of operational experience with commercial open source and regularly speaks and publishes on open-source business strategy”.

Yet you now suggest throwing away all that experience based not only on inaccurate information (you really should read the OSI requirements, rather than guessing as it makes you look like an horse’s eh, butt, if you get my drift) and with a stunningly bad business advice.

Again, not knowing you one starts to wonder what are you really up to? What are your true intentions?

Then you have the stomach to call the community’s, which you have been making money on for nearly a decade, response as horse-whipping. I guess if you came to my door and asked to be let in and I turned you down you would call that horse-whipping too?

No Matt, I think your true colors are showing up, and anyone who listens to your advice should get their monies back. You either are that eh, naive, or you are up to no good. The result is still the same.