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Linux Magazine | Spring 1999 | FEATURES | The Linux Interview

“Torvalds: I think that’s a great advantage. There are a lot of people who own copyrights on their own drivers or file systems. I happen to be the main copyright owner and I am a copyright holder on a lot of other people’s code too. It’s a double-bind situation. Say I wanted to be the next Bill Gates, and I thought the way to become the next Bill Gates would be to say, “Linux 2.2 may be out, but I am working on Linux 3.0, and by the way it will cost you $150.” I can’t do that, because I’m not the only copyright holder. And no one else can do it either. The only way to do it would be to get everyone with their hands in the kernel to agree, and that’s not going to happen. This actually makes some commercial companies happier about Linux because they know that I can’t be a competitor to them.”

This is social ownership by those who produce. This has political/social importance of a major kind – or am I being too romantic?

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