Ask Dave Taylor: Tech and Business


Are Open Source Fanatics Slowing Down Innovation?

While just about everyone seems to feel that the Open Source movement and the release of so much software under various open source licenses is a universally good thing, there are some downsides to open source, none more important than the difficulty companies have establishing mutually beneficial partnerships with some of the open source project teams. The case in point is a small VOIP provider called Vbuzzer, which unknowingly violated the terms of the GPL on an open source application and has since been trying to reestablish communication with the Miranda IM project team, but it's also relevant to the Sony BMG Rootkit debacle too: part of the Rootkit digital rights management system turns out to have used pieces of the LAME open source MP3 encoder project code.

Some companies are making mistakes with the open source community and shrugging their shoulders, uncaring about any legal or license violations, while others are trying to learn from their mistakes and make things right. But does the open source community differentiate between these? And is the lack of understanding actually hindering the development of new commercial software and the overall level of innovation in the industry? Read on...

    Is Open Source Hindering the Development of Commercial Software?

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