Why is Fedora not a Free GNU/Linux distributions?

Timothy Murphy gayleard at eircom.net
Fri Jul 18 01:01:24 UTC 2008

Gordon Messmer wrote:

>> GNU is not Linux and Linux is not GNU, it's just an evolution of a
>> movement started by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie nearly 40 years ago.

> I think you're giving Ken and Dennis too much credit.  As far as I
> understand it, Unix was only distributed free of charge because ATT was
> concerned that its monopoly status prevented it from entering new
> markets. 

Thompson and Ritchie were not AT&T, they were employees of AT&T.

I am quite sure that Thompson was very keen that Unix -
which he developed more or less as a hobby -
would be used as widely as possible.

I remember attending a Unix meeting many, many years ago
at which Thompson was the main speaker.
He was accompanied by 2 AT&T lawyers
who stopped Thompson answering questions on several occasions.
In particular, Thompson was prevented from talking about
the graphical system he and his team had just developed -
I forget what it was called, something like the Blob.

It is impossible to give Thompson and Ritchie too much credit.

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