Capitalism has successfully destroyed mindset of people to such extent, people will not hesitate to charge for almost everything they do in life. This not only destroys creativity but also makes the people at the top thinking about monopoly. Some people deserve to be manipulated by the people at top and some people deserve to find their freedom, whatever and wherever it exists.
Money is not everything for many people. When I see GNU and Open Source community on diaspora, I see how they are motivated for their contribs on sourceforge and github. It's not about money for them.
I also agree, having been involved in GNU and F/OSS issues for many years.
Unfortunately, the game is rapidly changing due to patent trolling and IP law abuses. And when it comes to legal matters, those with the deepest pockets have a significant advantage due to the way our current legal system's procedural process favors the richest.
I don't think I'm being excessively alarmist in encouraging anybody involved in creating any
form of so-called intellectual property
(software, books, music, videos, images) to make enough money to be able to hire a competent attorney if they need one. Because, sooner or later, they're going to need one.
It's only a matter of time before Microsoft or some other software giant begins to make an effort to get as much of the GNU/Linux ecosystem declared illegal as possible.
In the case of Microsoft, who has infinitely deep pockets - and a ridiculous portfolio of patents (I heard over 20,000 and growing) covering some of the most basic and obvious of software design concepts - it's a disaster waiting to happen for the Linux community. Because the case won't be decided on the merits or technology - it will be decided for whoever has the best legal stamina and ability to finesse the system. Look at the case of SCO v Everybody else
. Even with the most obviously bogus case imaginable, they were able to drag their nonsense out in court for seven and a half years at a cost of millions in legal fees for the parties involved.
So far, Linux has been (mostly) left alone. More I think because it has not posed a significant
threat to the entrenched consumer/business software establishment than for any other reason. But that won't last forever. And some of the major Linux players (RedHat, Suse, Ubuntu) are already working out their own legal accommodations with Microsoft.
When (or if) the long awaited Year of the Linux Desktop
arrives, it will be celebrated by the F/OSS community with a round of parties. And by Microsoft with a round of court filings.
Hope somebody has some money in the bank when that day finally comes.