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From Stephen McConnell <mcconn...@apache.org>
Subject Re: How BSD hurts OpenSource
Date Wed, 14 May 2003 07:56:17 GMT

David N. Welton wrote:

>Justin Erenkrantz <justin@erenkrantz.com> writes:
>>What I wonder is how many of those authors/copyright-holders have
>>actually read the GPL and understand what it really means.  --
>Probably not the details, but on the other hand, the concept of the
>GPL is clever, and the idea of 'not getting ripped off' appeals to

The appeal thing here is questionable.  I was in a meeting yesterday 
with the CTO of a very very large system integration group and we were 
discussing open source.  The CTO in question had lots of positive things 
to say about open source along with two problems:

1. open-source is free and that is a problem for department managers 
because this means they loose budget - it is simply better to place an 
order for 200k or 800k for a product with support because if and when 
the shit hits the fan, it is transferable, and your department maintains 
its budget

2. on the pragmatic front - open-source means you have to have the 
resources to be able to continue independently (technically and legally) 
irrespective of the direction taken by the majority.  And this is where 
the crucial aspect comes in - if I have to maintain a product that has 
open source dependencies - and if the open source base changes in a 
manner incompatible with by usage, I have to continue to maintain the 
base independently of the OS community  - this means a fork with all of 
the comensurate technical overhead - not to mention the potential legal 
consequences - legal consequence means problems - problems mean expenses 
and internal escalation - i.e. - back to the question - is it better to 
go with a commercial solution (a.k.a. problem transference) or take 
responsibility (a.k.a. internal responsibility)?

Cheers, Steve.


Stephen J. McConnell

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