But there are dozens of open-source licenses, many of which permit people to create proprietary software out of the open software.
As more people used open-source software, the popular media and public began to conflate free software and open source — much to free-software inventor Richard Stallman's dismay. I worry that this Microsoft-Novell deal has the potential to do the same thing to open-source software.
The more Microsoft can absorb Linux, the fewer people will recognize the challenge Linux represents. Linux isn't just an alternative set of software tools. It's another mode of production — one that's more transparent and more sensitive to the public good. That's something we can't afford to lose. SFBG
Annalee Newitz is a surly media nerd who thinks that if Microsoft makes a software shim, Linux developers should make a software shiv and stick those bastards right in the gut.