Easterners know the Cherokee Nation as, well, a gambling hall. Did you know they have a bet on Linux they think will bring in revenue?
It starts with the theory that GPL code is neitherfree, stable nor commercial. Thus GaDuGi Linux, created under a new Cherokee Nation License (still to be written) that recognizes trade secrets.
According to Linux Business Week the guy behind this, former Novell chief scientist Jeff V. Merkey, based GaDuGi off a Novell NetWare microkernel and the Linux 2.4 kernel, and now plans on rewriting the Linux part to get rid of GPL code. Merkey told Linux Business Week the Linux kernel hasn't been stable since Version 2.4, that "the only way SUSE has been able to take 2.6 to market has been to 'fork' the code and patch it to the point a stock Linux kernel won't run on the thing anymore."
The Cherokees will offer a free, non-commercial license but will want license fees on any commercial products that use GaDuGi, according to John Paris, the lawyer writing the license. The code will be posted next month after the Cherokees approve a trade secret act that's in line with U.S. law, he told Linux Business Week.
I decided to play a little game I call "Googling Monkey" with Mr. Merkey:
- In 1997 Jeff V. Merkey allegedly hijacked the WolfMountain project at Novell (the suit was settled in 1998), and since then has been writing GPL versions of Novell stuff.
- In 2002 Merkeyassigned allthe intellectual property of his company,Timpanogas Research Group, to The Canopy Group. (One of Canopy's other companies is SCO.)
- Merkey has issued public threats against a site called Merkey.Net, starting with this e-mail.
- Last October Merkey offered $50,000 to "convert the GPL license into a BSD style license for the code."
And now the Cherokees think this same Jeff Merkey will make them money saving open source from the horrors of the GPL license?
In myopinion,they'd be better off putting it all on red.