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Linux uncovered

The truth about Linux is finally out. Kenneth Brown, president of AdTI (Alexis de Tocqueville Institution), claims that Linux is based on intellectual property often taken or adapted without permission from material owned by other companies and individuals. Torvalds comes clean:

OK, I admit it. I was just a front man for the real fathers of Linux: the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. They (for obvious reasons) couldn’t step forward to admit that they had gotten bitten by the computer bug and had been developing a series of operating systems on their own during the off-season.

But when they started with Linux (which they originally called Freax—they do feel like outsiders, you know, and that’s a whole sad story in itself), they felt that they could no longer just let it languish in obscurity.

They started to look for a front man, and since Santa Claus is from Finland, and thus has connections to Helsinki University, and the Easter Bunny claimed, ‘He’s got good ears, if a bit small,’ I got selected.

Since then, I’ve lived a life of subterfuge, always afraid that somebody would find out the truth. I’m actually relieved that it’s over, and that the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution has finally uncovered the lie. I can now go back to my chosen profession, the exploration of the fascinating mating dance of the aquatic African frog.

Why can’t all press-releases be like this…? The world would be a happier place.

10 comments to Linux uncovered

  • snide

    I wonder how much of the funding of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institute comes from Microsoft?

  • Hank Scorpio

    I wonder how much of the funding of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institute comes from Microsoft?

    Good question. It would appear the MS has been a fairly large contributor to SCO in their own Linux jihad. Of course, this little tidbit isn’t to be taken seriously, but then neither should SCO’s, seeing as how it looks like IBM will be smacking them down fairly shortly.

  • Alex Jacques

    Although I haven’t had a chance to read the book (apparently it’s not free), I’m curious to have more details on the allegations.

    In any case, this is an eye-catching headline in the computer world and I’m rather upset to consider the negative picture of libertarianism that many developers are likely to get. Let’s hope that people stick to the facts.

  • Dale Amon

    I’m curious. Does AdTI do anything real? I thought they were just a Microsoft mouthpiece. The only time I ever hear of them is when they publish the latest bit of ‘research’ about us naughty open source people.

    Anyone want to track the history of Linux? The source for every version back to some of the very earliest toys are all available at ftp://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/

    The entire history is there, written in code.

    The organization has a nice name but credibility so low Alexis must be creating a time warp around his grave.

  • BigFire

    For more on this story, Andrew Tanenbaum, creator of Minix who was interviewed by Kenneth Brown has this to say about Brown’s motivation, prepration, and general cluelessness.

  • The ADTI people sound like the global cooling / warming / climate change industry: innuendo, scare quotes, promised data…

    A right bunch of prats, in other words.

  • I updated a number of pages on Disinfopedia wiki website to document the culpability of Alexis de SMOKEville’s sordid history as a tobacco industry shill. These are some of the new or revised pages, followed by some quotations that search engines will draw upon for results pages. If you post these links in your blogs, you can be pretty sure that every search engine will rank the tobacco connection higher than the FUD pages they post. Over 80% of Americans have quit or never started smoking, so the fans of tobacco shills are always a


    From http://www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=S._Fred_Singer
    S. Fred Singer
    “The “de SMOKEville” junk-science that Singer attached his name to was crowded by hired guns wearing lab coats to continue the decades-long disinformation campaign: Academic Advisory Board — Dr. Nancy Bord, Hoover Institution; Michael Darby, John M. Olin Center for Policy; Michael Gough, Congressional Office of Technology Assessment; Thomas Gale Moore, Hoover Institution; S. Fred Singer, President Science and Environmental Policy Project; Robert D. Tollison, George Mason University, Richard Wagner, George Mason University. [1] I suppose these include the “seven out of ten doctors who prefer Chesterfields” from the ads of yesteryear.”

    The same John M. Olin Foundation funds John M. Olin Center for Policy as funds Alexis de Tocqueville Institution. Olin, Scaife and Koch foundations fund the entire list above, apart from the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment which is funded through campaign contributions instead of foundations. Singer, Tollison and Wagner were all from the George Mason University, favorite charities of right-wing donors and energy billionaires Koch and Scaife.”


    Search for Robert D. Tollison
    Search Results
    32523 document(s) match your query for Robert D. Tollison .

    32,523 mentions in the Tobacco Institute files ordered online in a court settlement. That’s pretty good, but no cigar…

    Search for S. Fred Singer
    Search Results
    49778 document(s) match your query for S. Fred Singer

    Even though Robert D. Tollison wrote the book on how good for you second-hand smoke is, S. Fred Singer has won the race for covert cash from the disinformation lung polluters of tobacco AND oil companies. Singer helped write the OTHER book that Tollison was only “technical advisor” on, published by Alexis de SMOKEville Institution, er, Alexis de Tocqueville Institution.

    In 1994 Cesar Conda was executive director of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution listed as “Senior Staff and Contributing Associates” on a Lorillard Tobacco Company paid-for publication titled “Science, Economics, and Environmental Policy” by author Kent Jeffreys. [1] Principal Reviewer was listed as S. Fred Singer, and to give this propagandistic tract a sheen of scientific appearance, a loaded gang of “experts” from assorted tobacco-funded front organizations with impressive names was listed: SEPP, Hoover Institution, John M. Olin Center for Policy, George Mason University.

    As Executive Director of Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, Conda had more than a casual association with the production of this deception piece. SEPP was certainly known to him, as an article the same year in Commonsense (Fall 1994) “The New Populism: The Rise of the Property Rights Movement,” article by Cesar Conda and Mark LaRochelle, mentions SEPP. [2] Kent Jeffreys bonafides would also be known to him. Jeffreys at the time was listed as environmental studies director [3] for Competitive Enterprise Institute [4], an organization with close ties to Alexis de Tocqueville.

  • Lion Kuntz

    AdTI director, congressman Chris Cox ($11,000 donations from M$)


    So is it just my imagination, or what? Does AdTI director, congressman Chris Cox ($11,000 donations from M$) want to attract more campaign contributions to his republican party from Microsoft? Is that what it’s all about? Or, is is about M$ wanting to sell more software to the government, and paying AdTI some money for a smear campaign is one way to the get attention of Cox’s Homeland Security committee?

    Does a former CFO of Microsoft on the board of Heritage Foundation (who hasn’t quit microsoft – keeps a VP title) influence Heritage’s programs to get M$’s employee, Homeland Security director on the program, or is it Becky Dunlap, director of AdTI AND vice president of Heritage Foundation who decided that?

    And what does this have to do with Townhall.com’s FUD campaign that is bigger and going on longer than AdTI’s? I mean, really “Is Open Source Software Equivalent to the Borg?”, isn’t this rather extreme, or just extreme-right? Somebody want to explain which factors are more important: is it covert political control in the name of “libertarianism”; or billionaires like SCAIFE and GATES just got to stick together; or is it minions currying favour obsequiously groping for advancement up a rung on the ladder; or scum-sucking bottom-feeders oozing out slime from every pore just can’t help themselves? Your analysis on this fuzzy subject is urgently needed.

    All Recipients Among Federal Candidates, 1989-2004

    COX, Christopher (R-Calif) $11,000

    Money to Congress: 2004 Cycle

    House — Democrats $371,450; Republicans $283,000
    TOTAL $654,450

    Senate — Democrats $224,677; Republicans $82,000
    TOTAL $306,677

    Incumbents: $961,127; Non-Incumbents: $33,700

    MICROSOFT hires national security advisor
    Lisa M. Bowman, CNET News.com
    November 14, 2002, 09:14 BST

    Hoping to play a larger role in homeland security, MICROSOFT has tapped former US political adviser Thomas Richey for a new position counselling policymakers on IT issues

    Many companies are hoping to get a piece of the homeland security business, which could provide a windfall to the tech sector. Any new homeland security department set up by the US government would need to purchase computer equipment for internal use and would likely promote new technology to help the United States fight terrorism.

    What’s more, government officials have said they need more cooperation from the private sector, particularly because so many of the country’s tech systems are under the control of companies.

    Chris COX to Chair New House Homeland Security Committee
    1/8. The House will continue the new Select Committee on Homeland Security. Its Chairman will be Rep. Chris COX (R-CA).

    On November 25, 2002, President Bush signed HR 3005 (Public Law No: 107-296), the bill creating the new Department of Homeland Security. …

    … Rep. COX was first elected to the Congress in 1988, and has since focused on technology, foreign affairs, and trade issues. He has generally been a low taxes, deregulation, free enterprise, and free trade type of Republican. He has been Chairman of the Republican’s House Policy Committee since 1995. He is a senior member of the House Commerce Committee, and its Telecom Subcommittee. …

    Monday, January 13

    … 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM. The HERITAGE FOUNDATION will host a panel discussion titled “Harnessing Information Technology to Improve Homeland Security”. The speakers include James Gilmore (Chairman, Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction), Lee Holcomb (Office of Homeland Security), TOM RICHEY (Director of Homeland Security, MICROSOFT), Tom Gann (VP & GM, Siebel Systems), and Peter Brookes (HERITAGE). See, notice. Location: HERITAGE, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE.

    Harnessing Information Technology to Improve Homeland Security
    January 13

    TOM RICHEY, Director of Homeland Security, MICROSOFT Corporation
    Vice President, The HERITAGE FOUNDATION … She also oversees the HERITAGE Lectures and Seminars program which provides a forum for key leaders and policymakers to present their ideas for discussion and debate.
    * Richard M. Scaife, HERITAGE Trustee Since 1985
    * Robert J. Herbold, HERITAGE Trustee Since 2003 Retired Chief Operating Officer MICROSOFT
    Herbold, MICROSOFT’s recently retired CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER … HE ALSO WORKS PART TIME FOR MICROSOFT as an executive vice president, assisting in the government, industry and customer areas.
    Staff and Associates
    * CHRISTOPHER COX, Co-Chairman, AdTI Board of Advisors, cCOX@adti.net
    * BECKY NORTON DUNLOP, AdTI Director, Democracy and the Environment Research Program
    © 1991-2004 Townhall.com is a project of The HERITAGE FOUNDATION.
    * Open Source, Open Questions, Small Business Survival Committee
    * Intellectual Property: The Open Source Challenge (pdf), Small Business Survival Committee
    * Open Source Software Presents Serious Property Rights Problems for Businesses , Small Business Survival Committee
    * Has Open Source Reached Its Limits?, Institute for Policy Innovation
    * Is Open Source Software Equivalent to the Borg?, Small Business Survival Committee
    * Software Wars: Open Source And The New York Times, Competitive Enterprise Institute

  • Continuing the AdTI expose — here’s more


    Alexis de Tocqueville Institution — The George Mason University connection — There was NOTHING “academic” or “scientific” in the tobacco-EPA reports put out by AdTI. They were political and selfish-interest (profit first! above integrity) motivated and crafted deceitfully. Greed is behind the slams on Linux and Open Source, delivering a gullible public into the Microsoft monopoly clutches, and leaving them No Free Choice alternatives. It is monopolistic predatory practices at it’s historic worst.

    Ken Brown

    * http://www. digital-law.net/IJCLP/6_2001/authors/brown.html — Kenneth Brown is the President of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution … has a B.A. in English Literature from George Mason University.

    Christopher Cox

    * http://gazette.gmu.e du/articles/index.php?id=4667
    * http://www.icasit.org/ecommerce/taxation.html — ICASIT, The School of Public Policy, George Mason University
    * http://reason.com/9704/ci .bd.death.shtml — Christopher Cox was pushing legislation to repeal the estate tax … Richard Wagner, chairman of George Mason University’s economics department, estimated that estate taxes

    S. Fred Singer

    * http://www.sepp.org/bi os/singer/biosfs.html — distinguished research professor at George Mason University
    * http://www.sepp.org/bio s/singer/cvsfs.html — Institute for Humane Studies, at George Mason University 1994-
    * http://www.atlasusa.org/highlight_archive/1995/H1995-02-Environment.html — In January 1995, the Science & Environmental Policy Project moved to Fairfax, joining Atlas, the Institute for Humane Studies, The Locke Institute, and the Center for Market Processes at “4084 University Drive” near George Mason University. Atlas provided a grant to IPPS to facilitate the move and help fund the organization during its first year in Fairfax.

    Gary Anderson

    * http://econ1.csun.ed u/Economics/FacultyPhotos.htm — 1987 Ph.D. George Mason University
    * http://www.gmu.edu/centers/publicchoice/alumni.html — Center Alumni, 1986, Gary Anderson

    Gordon L. Brady

    * http://www.iaes.org/jour nal/aej/march_03/ — George Mason University
    * http://www.mediatransparency.org/search_results/info_on_any_recipien t.php?413 — Fellowship Research Grant, Gordon L. Brady, Center for the Study of Public Choice, Earhart Foundation

    Jeffrey Clark

    * http://www.law.gmu.edu/faculty/parttime.html — Faculty Directory: Part Time Faculty (same one?)

    Thomas Hopkins

    * http://www.cob.rit.ed u/directory/bio.html?eid=50 — Dean of the College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology, member of the Advisory Board, Mercatus Center Regulatory Studies Program, George Mason University.

    Dwight R. Lee

    * http://www.terry.uga.edu/~ dlee/bio.html — has had full time tenured faculty appointments at the University of Colorado, Virginia Tech University, George Mason University, and the University of Georgia where he has been the Ramsey Professor of Economics and Private Enterprise since 1985.

    Robert D. Tollison

    * http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/economics/btollison/biography.html — is the Robert M. Hearin Professor of Economics in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Mississippi … has served on the faculties at … George Mason University, … as Director of the Center for Study of Public Choice at George Mason (1984-1998). He also held endowed chair at … George Mason Universit[y].

    Richard Wagner

    * http://w ww.gmu.edu/departments/economics/facultybios/wagn.htm — Hobart R. Harris Professor of Economics, is the Graduate Director of the Economics Department, joined the faculty of George Mason University in 1988, after having held positions … Auburn University.
    * http://www.indep endent.org/tii/tii_info/advisors.html — Board of Advisors, Independent Institute
    * http://www.limitedgovernm ent.org/wagner.html — is the Holbert R. Harris Professor of Economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia where he has taught since 1988.

    Richard Vedder (Other, not GMU)

    * http://www.limitedgovernm ent.org/vedder.html — National Academic Advisory Board (with Wagner).

    Mark Thornton (Other, not GMU)

    * http://www.mises.org/faculty.asp — Senior Faculty, Mises Institute, mthornton@mises.org

    Malcolm Ross (SEPP, not GMU)

    http://www.gswweb.org/mi nutes/GSW1995.htm — Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
    * http://www.consumeralert.o rg/info/staff.htm — Advisory Council, Consumer Alert

    Gerhard Stohrer (SEPP, not GMU)

    * http://www.sepp.org/artcomm/ 1994.html — July, in Chemical & Engineering News (7/18/94) “A pause on environmental policy,” letter to the editor by Dr. Gerhard Stohrer and Dr. Frederick Seitz, mentions SEPP.

    The Web behind the people behind AdTI’s phoney tobacco whitecoats reports:

    Organizations sharing the Institute of Humane Studies address (4084 University Drive, Suite 101, Fairfax, VA)

    * http://www.wrlc.org/gmason.htm — Institute for Humane Studies, 4084 University Drive, Suite 101, Fairfax, VA 22030, (703) 934-6920
    * http://www.atlasusa.org/highlight_archive/1995/H1995-02-Environment.html — SEPP/Science & Environmental Policy Project
    * http://www.atlasusa.org/directory/institute_profile.php?ref er=directory&org_id=101 — Atlas Economic Research Foundation, 4084 University Drive, Suite 103, Fairfax, VA 22030, (703) 934-6969
    * http://publi cchoice.info/TullockTales/LibertyFundConf.pdf — The Locke Institute, 4084 University Drive., Suite 103, Fairfax, VA 22030, 703-934-6934 Fax: 703-934-6927
    * http://www.free- 4u.com/koch_summer_fellow_program.htm — Koch Summer Fellow Program, 4084 University Drive, Suite 101, Fairfax VA 22030-6812, 703/934-6920 or 800/697-8799, FAX: 703/352-7535

    The Moneybags behind the people behind AdTI’s phoney tobacco whitecoats reports

    Koch Industries (and Scaife) connections to Institute for Humane Studies and George Mason University

    * http://www.mediatransparency.org/search_results/displ ay_recipients_by_charles_koch_total.htm — 1) George Mason University Foundation, Inc. $14,048,850, 7) George Mason University $1,042,605, 11) Institute for Humane Studies $534,000, 14) Mercatus Center $400,000, 33) Atlas Economic Research Foundation $40,000, 52) John Locke Foundation $17,000.
    * http://www.mediatransparency.org/search_results/display _recipients_by_david_koch_total.htm — 7) Institute for Humane Studies $2,100,000, 10) George Mason University $1,400,000, 25) George Mason University Foundation, Inc. $350,000.
    * http://www.mediatransparency.org/search_results/display_reci pients_by_lambe_total.htm — (KOCH) 3) George Mason University $2,311,149, 4) George Mason University Foundation, Inc. $2,074,893, 12) Institute for Humane Studies $455,000, 43) Atlas Economic Research Foundation $28,500, 52) John Locke Foundation $15,000, 54) Alexis de Tocqueville Institution $12,500.
    * http://www.mediatransparency.org/search_results/displ ay_recipients_by_sarah_scaife_total.htm — 20) George Mason University Foundation, Inc. $2,670,000, 41) George Mason University $1,656,000, 70) Atlas Economic Research Foundation $920,000, 96) Institute for Humane Studies $520,000.
    * http://www.mediatransparency.org/search_results/display_r ecipients_by_carthage_total.htm — (SCAIFE) 14) Atlas Economic Research Foundation $855,000, 38) Institute for Humane Studies $430,000, 116) George Mason University Foundation, Inc. $75,000.
    * http://www.theihs.org/ people.php/75934.html — John Hasnas is an associate professor of law at George Mason University … Between 1997 and 1999, Professor Hasnas served as assistant general counsel to Koch Industries, Inc. in Wichita, Kansas.
    * http://www.theihs.org/ pdf/materials/502.pdf
    * http://www.kochind .com/newsroom/bio_detail.asp?ID=1 — Charles G. Koch, chairman of the Institute for Humane Studies, the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation and the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, on the board of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and as a member of the Mont Pelerin Society.
    * http://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/magazines/1999-07/staffingup.html — The Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation has announced that Wayne Gable is the foundation’s new president. Currently the managing director for federal affairs at Koch Industries, Mr. Gable has also worked as the president of the Center for Market Processes, Tax Foundation, and Citizens for a Sound Economy. In addition, the foundation’s vice president, Victoria Hughes, will be leaving to establish the Bill of Rights Institute, a nonprofit organization that will focus on educating high school students and teachers. Joining the foundation as vice president will be Kelly Young. Mr. Young has worked at the Koch Foundation and is currently assistant dean for special projects at George Mason University School of Law.
    * http://bov.gmu.edu/fink.html — Richard Fink of Centreville is executive vice president and a member of the board of directors of Koch Industries, Inc., in Washington, D.C. A member of George Mason’s economics faculty from 1980 to 1986, he was founder and director of the Center for Market Processes (now part of the Mercatus Center). He also served as executive vice president for advancement and planning at George Mason in 1989-90. On the Board of Visitors, Fink is Vice Chair of the Faculty and Academic Standards Committee and serves on the Student Affairs Committee. Founder and former president of Citizens for a Sound Economy in Washington, D.C., Fink is a trustee and former president of the Charles G. Koch and Claude R. Lambe charitable foundations, and serves on a number of boards, including the George Mason University Foundation, the Progressive Policy Institute, the Institute for Humane Studies, and George Mason’s Center for Study of Public Choice.
    * http://www.mercat us.org/people.php/143.html?menuid=1 — Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Richard Fink
    * http://www.iwf.org/ab out_iwf/pfotenhauer.asp — Independent Women’s Forum President, Nancy Mitchell Pfotenhauer joined IWF in 2001 from Koch Industries, where she was director of the Washington Office. … holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Georgia and a Masters of Arts degree in economics from George Mason University.
    * http://tobaccodocu ments.org/pm/2025528294-8299.html — (1991 estimated date) Candace Crandall Executive Vice President of the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP). SEPP will co-sponsor a conference with George Mason University in May on scientific integrity in the political process. Crandall has arranged for a number of prominent scientists to be participants, including Dr. Bernard Davis of Harvard University and Sir William Mitchell of Oxford University. Crandall is Dr. Fred Singer’s wife.