Ooops! GNU-Darwin did it again!

So it appears that once again, GNU-Darwin shows their inadequacy in understanding anything they touch.

MacSlash and Slashdot both have articles on GNU-Darwin’s decision to freeze PPC support, and to drop support for distributing any packages that link against bits of OSX that aren’t in Darwin.

This, in itself, isn’t necessarily bad, they’re welcome to do whatever they want, but their reasons for doing it are just stupid. And I quote:

First, Apple continues the wall-of-silence with respect to their repugnant DMCA-based legal action, and there is no reason whatsoever for us to think that they will not undertake similar action in the future. It is regrettable that the DMCA was Apple-sponsored legislation, and it is now time for them to disavow it and promise never to employ it.

Second, APSL is languishing, and it is unacceptable to the free software community. It is now time for an APSL revision, which brings the license in line with the free software definition in accordance with the expectations of GNU Project.

(for reference, the APSL license is here.)

First of all, the problem is not that Apple is using the DMCA — that’s just the (admittedly heavy-handed) way that they’re handling the fact that you broke their license agreement. Apple licensed the MPEG-2 decoder, so they can’t just do whatever they want with the resultant iDVD software. The limits were in part because of limitations put on them.

Secondly, correct me if I’m wrong, but what the heck are they doing trying to GNU-ize a system that has always been non-Free anyways (in their definition) in the first place? My post on the subject on MacSlash was, basically:

They’re taking a system that was not GNU (APSL), and then complaining that it’s not GNU! It’s not quite on the same level, but is the same idea as the CygWin folks complaining that Windows is not Free. Well no s**t, sherlock, no one said it was.

If GNU-Darwin feels that strongly, they should be working on Linux or, even better, HURD. Instead, they’re complaining that the Japanese car they just bought is Japanese, so why don’t we stick it to them and complain until they change their culture and become American.

Judging by the (for the most part) backlash on /. and MacSlash, I expect there isn’t much sympathy for them. I guess that means more people will be moving to the (GPL’d) project I work on anways… (all 3 of them 😉

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