Subject: RE: JBoss aquired by Red Hat
From: "Anderson, Kelly" <>
Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2006 15:28:46 -0600

 Fri, 14 Apr 2006 15:28:46 -0600
> If you, Kelly,  use communist to mean "more liberal than I 
> am" you may in fact be correct by your own definition.

I never used (to my recollection, and I checked) the word communist in
this thread except to illustrate that no ISM is pure. And, I never gave
any indication that I was conservative or liberal, although I expressed
a viewpoint or two that could surely be considered a conservative
viewpoint. I don't believe most people fit neatly into these little
boxes that they try to put us all into. 

I AM a believer in the capitalistic system as it is implemented in
America. I also believe that there are some good and some bad people in
business, just as there are in every other group of people. People who
believe that all business people are evil are just as misinformed as
those who believe that there are no good Moslems, or no good communists.
I also believe that "goodness" can be very profitable. Just look at how
far the "first, do no evil" thing has taken Google. (And yes, the bigger
they get, the more they have trouble living by their motto.)

Also, anti-capitalist is not the same as communist. There are many forms
that anti-capitalism takes, and indeed one of the stronger forms is
anarchy. I actually like anarchy as a system for governing the Internet,
and I hope honestly that it doesn't eventually spawn some other form of
government. That would be really bad IMO. 

> However, you might as well say that free software advocates 
> are all "chicken necks" and then define "chicken neck" to 
> mean "more liberal than I am". Because then, at least, there 
> would be a clear understanding that you simply making up your 
> definitions as you go along. And as a bonus, chicken necks 
> cause as visceral a reaction by many as communism, so your 
> secondary goal of associating free software with something 
> widely loathed would also be fulfilled. (If you do not think 
> chicken necks are gross, I recommend cleaning & roasting an 
> entire chicken with parts this weekend. )

I love chicken necks. I have over a hundred chickens. Don't mind
cleaning them at all. They live with me in my self-sufficient off-grid
solar government-subsidized house. The free software movement has a lot
to recommend it. I didn't compare it to communism. I like the open
source movement even more, as I think it takes a less politically
charged position and thus has a better chance of success in a world full
of evil greedy Republicans.

I do get your point that you can use words to mean anything you want
them to. But you are accusing me of using a word that I didn't actually
use and then redefining it. Not entirely fair. :-(

> By the definition that communists believe in communal 
> ownership of all property, then free software is not 
> communist. 

Again, I didn't say that. I didn't imply that. I know that you are
correct in your statement. The term Marxist came up in the conversation,
but it was not MY word.

> Free software  depends critically upon 
> property-like rights granted to individuals by the 
> government. Free software is not public domain. Free software 
> depends on copyright. If the state owns all property in the 
> common good than grants of individual control and ownership 
> are antithetical to the state. Failure to produce because of 
> lack of copyright would be counter-revolutionary undermining 
> of the greater good, and thus arguably criminal in nature 
> under the communist lens.

I agree with your interpretation of communism, and I agree with your
implied view of the worth of intellectual property law that respects IP
rights of the individual. I agree with your view that there is a vast
difference between free software and public domain software. I do NOT
believe that Free Software is a communist idea. You're right, communists
would hate it. 

Communist software would probably be pretty bad, I mean look at the
efforts of the FBI and the IRS. Talk about bad software. Even they had
to give up on it.
> Now, my lack of understanding is this:
> Doesn't Jboss open the opportunity for RH to compete with Web 
> Sphere?

Possibly, but aren't Jboss and Web Sphere marketed to kind of different
audiences? I don't know much about this... just asking.

> If that is the case, does this mean that the natural 
> strategic alignment between IBM and Red Hat is undermined? If 
> so, what are the potential forces that might now collide? I 
> do not understand the long term strategic implications of 
> this purpose and would benefit greatly from such a 
> discussion. Pointers to solid business press articles are appreciated.

I'd like to understand all this better too. 

My original question though, was whether MySQL and JBoss had somehow
found a sweet spot further along the spectrum towards closed source. I
also observed that it seems that the more towards the closed source end
of the spectrum you are, the more money you apparently seem to be able
to make. I wonder out loud if that may ever change. If people on the
Free Software end of the spectrum indeed care less about money, then
this may not be a problem for them. But this list perports to be both
"open source" and "business" related. Therefore, it is my assumption
that the people on this list want to make money. That is kind of a major
aspect of business, isn't it? My question is, do you think you can make
more money, or make money more easily, by being further along the
spectrum towards closed source than open source is? (I hope that makes

I didn't mean to start a political discussion... my comment about
environmentalists was meant to be illustrative, but I can now see that I
was baiting, and I apologize.

> thanks,
> Jean
> back to lurking

Thanks for coming out to play... 

Please post again. :-|


E-Mail messages may contain viruses, worms, or other malicious code. By reading the
message and opening any attachments, the recipient accepts full responsibility for taking
protective action against such code. Sender is not liable for any loss or damage arising
from this message.

The information in this e-mail is confidential and may be legally privileged. It is
intended solely for the addressee(s). Access to this e-mail by anyone else is unauthorized.