GMP license problem, anyone?

Bill Hart goodwillhart at
Fri May 30 18:09:56 CEST 2008

>We have also learned that SAGE will make a non-free private release to

Look, just to set the record straight, there is no non-free private
release to Microsoft. You'll be able to download it from the SAGE
website just as always.

So it'll be as free as any open source project is! I have that in
writing from the maintainer!!

I'm surprised it isn't on the front page of slashdot by now that
Microsoft will be using a large open source project, and that they are
even paying money for the work.

You really do an insult to the outstanding contribution of Peter
Montgomery to the open source GMP-ECM project by insisting that
Microsoft are trying to destroy your project by paying for a fork, and
implying that they are doing illegal deals potentially violating the
LGPL, etc, blah, blah, blah.

Let me just see if I got my history straight on this one. So Microsoft
claim that linux infringes 235 patents of theirs. 42 of those patents
supposedly are infringed by the linux kernel. So Richard Stallman
writes a new license which is supposed to somehow fix this for
everyone. So what does Linus and almost every one of the kernel
hackers do? They don't use the new license. Excellent.

I agree that it is pretty unimaginably crazy that Microsoft did this,
but how is us providing tools for MSR to do cryptographic research
even vaguely an issue here? They cannot sell this software back to us.
They cannot sell it on to other people.

I suppose they could make some cryptographic breakthrough, patent the
idea, make millions out of it, not give us a cent and not share the
research with us. They could even take over the world, securing all
our precious details with their crypto and charge us for the
privilege. They could rape us blind financially. They might even buy
google, yahoo and swox and we might end up eating roadside slush and
living in cardboard boxes.

But you know what? Someone else out there might use my open source
software to beat Microsoft to the chase, making that great cryto
breakthrough before they do. Richard Stallman might go insane. Linus
Torvalds might decide to sit crosslegged in the Pirhenese eating
dandelion soup and aliens might invade earth.

Either way, I will have worked on some really interesting code and
mathematics and had a good time.


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