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Against Monopoly

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Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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The New York Times discovers open source and likes it

Ashlee Vance writes in today's New York Times Sunday Business section about the problems open source software has with enforcing the agreement of users to publish the source code with the the actual software, so that it can be further developed link here. I don't think the article explained the issue very well; it says only that the agreement with the open source community has been violated.

The point of the open general license is that software which finds new uses or builds on the underlying code and alters it then becomes available to the rest of the open source community. Hopefully, the accumulation of applications will in time be a highly competitive rival to the big profit making software suppliers like Microsoft and Apple. It is also a way to reduce the high cost of profit-seeking software makers that retain their software monopolies for long periods.

The article makes a point that financial penalties for failing to abide by the standard open software agreement have been modest if not nil. This no doubt softens the reluctance of users, as evidence by the rapid spread of such applications to new gadgets that are now pouring into the market.

Finally, the article sends readers to the Linux Foundation for more information; to Hewlett-Packard, which has helped develop a standardized inventory list for software so that companies can keep track of their code and licenses," and to a website, "Gpl-violations.org, an organization named after a popular open-source license, [which] receives an e-mail complaint from someone who suspects that a product may use open-source software without adhering to the rules" and checks it out.


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