I usually agree with or sympathize with Moglen's views but this is just indefensible.
He's saying that Steve Jobs is "a man whose selfishness surpasses any recorded selfishness", and why? Because he opted to support a modular compiler started at the University of Illinois instead of the GCC.
The LLVM's license is free, and even classified as such by the FSF. To smear participants in a fellow free software project like this or those that fund it is beyond low.
I lost a lot of respect for Moglen after reading that.
NeXT under Jobs refused to meet their GPL obligations for their new ObjC frontend until they were threatened with legal action. I'm guessing Moglen was involved in that conflict, and it shaped his attitude about Jobs.
If that makes a person say he is "a man whose selfishness surpasses any recorded selfishness", then the speaker should either cut down on the hyperbole or have more dealing in the real world outside software.
> The LLVM's license is free, and even classified as such by the FSF
In fact, the FSF says it is GPL compatible, which means they are not only free to fork LLVM if they think Apple's stewardship of that project is risky, they can make their fork GPL.
Another thing to consider: Apple employs the majority of LLVM developers, including the lead developer. If Moglen is correct, why is the new code these people are contributing, as Apple employees, still under the old license? Wouldn't Apple be putting their new code under a less open license? And wouldn't they be getting the authors to relicensing the existing code under a less open license, or rewriting it?
The fact that Apple continues to put a lot of work into LLVM under a license that is very open (essentially a BSD license) is inconsistent with the motives Moglen ascribes to them.
"a man whose selfishness surpasses any recorded selfishness"
Seriously, what a knob. Not only is this the truth of this statement questionable -- any one of histories tyrannical monarchs would have been measurably more selfish -- and hyperbolic, it adds absolutely nothing to the discourse over licensing and open source development in general.
It personalises it unnecessarily. It's petty. I find this attitude to be supremely annoying; it involves attaching to much importance to _software licenses_ -- FFS -- when there are arguably much more important issues which could be argued more strongly. In other words, this dude needs to pull his head out of his bum and get some perspective.