“Many licenses are totally ridiculous”

Linus Benedict Torvalds (Helsinki, Finland, December 28th, 1969) is the creator of Linux. Linux can be installed

Linus Benedict Torvalds (Helsinki, Finland, December 28th, 1969) is the creator of Linux. Linux can be installed on a variety of devices:  mobile phones, tablet computers, routers, and video game consoles, mainframes and supercomputers. The development of Linux is one of the most famous examples of free and open source software collaboration. Normally all the underlying source code can be used, modified and redistributed, both commercially and non-commercially, by anyone under licenses such as the General Public License.

The creator of Linux tells in a recent interview to Página 12 (a recognized local newspaper) how after two decades of its creation it went from being the heart of an open source system to a friendly desktop environment and the center of Android for cell phones.

“I don´t think there should be one ideology. I think that there may be many ideologies. I think that people are interesting animals, they do things for complex reasons. That´s why I don´t consider there should be one ideology. The only ideology that I really contempt and dislike is the kind that tries to exclude other ideologies. So the important part about the open source code isn´t the ideology, is that everybody can use it for its own needs and reasons. The copyright license it´s there to keep that opening live and to make sure the project doesn´t fragment between persons that hide their improvements from each other. It is not there to meet any ideology.”

It is also stricking to read his concept of the competence. He points out that he makes Linux for his own positive purposes. He only thinks of improving his own product but not for competing with anyone else, just to improve. It is rare to find such opinions today.

In the article we can appreciate Linus ideology, far from being similar to the one Richard Stallman has (creator of the Free Software Foundation and of the Free Software concept) his opinion about the current market and new technologies. In my opinion it is interesting to listen to a different voice than what we usually hear about free software, leaving ideology about how things should be done beside. I think his vision is cutting edge in the sense that he disassociates ideology from the software and he only cares that everybody uses the tool for its best.

Torvalds  is a software engineer, known for initiating and maintaining the development of Kernel Linux and for being a reference of the free software. Currently Torvalds is responsible for the projects coordination. He belongs to the Finland swedish-speaking community.

By Pedro Alessandri.

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