Subject: Re: Reply to Merger
To: None <Wesley.R.Palmer@cdc.com>
From: Richard Stallman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 09/03/1994 04:00:13
> If you believe you know of a specific case where they have done so,
> please send me details. It may be true. Or it may be a false rumor.
Uh, isn't that part of why there was an anti-trust suit against
Based on your description, it seems that the answer is no.
As I recall, one of the (few) complaints actually
addressed by the suit settlement was to bar Microsoft from their
very restrictive development agreements.
I've heard similar accusations against Apple. Perhaps both Apple and
Microsoft do this.
I consider these restrictive agreements nasty. But you can avoid this
problem by not signing one.
Interface copyright is a much worse problem. You can't escape that by
refusing to sign a particular contract.
What about harware bundle agreements that
required dealers to pay for the OS even if they didn't install
it on a PC - effectively eliminating other OS options for that
vendor? Isn't that restricting freedom?
Not as far as I can see. You have the freedom not to sign such an
If it becomes commonplace for dealers to sign such agreements, that
reduces the chances of success for a competing commercial OS. People
who think proprietary software is legit have a good reason to want to
ban this practice. Antitrust law is a good idea.
But meanwhile, you do still have the freedom to write another OS, and
to distribute it, even to sell copies as proprietary software. Your
chances of commercial success may be less as a result of this kind of
bundling, but they are still not zero. And this bundling is not a
problem at all for free software.
All in all, this is benign compared with interface copyright.
You wanted change. Apple has made
a lot of changes.
We want a specific change: for Apple to drop the lawsuit and say they
won't sue anything else in a like way. The lawsuit continues; there
has been no change in that.
It seems to me that you do not distinguish the issue of freedom to
write programs from a host of other issues. If you seek to persuade
me to change my views, you must first understand what they are.
I am mainly concerned with whether someone is going to put me in jail
if I persist in writing the kinds of software users want. I can
overcome lesser obstacles just by being steadfast, so I don't see a
reason to fight about them.