Open Source Software Licenses versus Business Models

I wrote a recent blog post on which FOSS license to use and it provoked Twitter commentary that wanted more discussion on how FOSS license choice can affect a company’s business model. I’m still not sure I agree that the FOSS license...

01/23/13

Three Views on Creating Open Source Developer Communities

I recently attended a great little conference about the craft of software development and where it’s going. It was called Monki Gras, and it was run by the fine analysts at Redmonk. It was held in London, UK. Three talks provided...

02/15/12

Work-for-Hire in an Open Source Enabled World

Some time ago, I worked for a consulting services company that assembled solutions for their clients using open source licensed software as the building blocks.  Clients needed education, however, when it came time to understand who...

01/24/12

The Role of FOSS Foundations

There’s an excellent discussion begun over the past few days on the value of foundations in the free and open source software (FOSS) world. It includes people calling into question the Apache Software Foundation’s role, promoting...

11/29/11

Do Lawyers Ignore Copyright Law?

I read an interesting editorial from Glyn Moody the other day on Stephen Kinsella asking the question whether or not copyright or patents were more damaging to innovation and creativity. In the end, Kinsella argues that copyrights...

11/21/11

Software Discipline and Open Source

Good software is developed by good software developers.  It involves a discipline not found in most programmers.  Rigorous version and configuration management, checklists for style and review, “desk” checking reviews before commits,...

09/02/11

Peace and Harmony between FOSS contributors and lawyers

Harmony is an effort that was begun and shepherded by Amanda Brock, the general counsel at Canonical, makers of Ubuntu Linux. The intent was to create a small collection of consistently-worded contribution agreements (both licenses...

07/07/11

Re-inventing SuSE and Three Futures for Mono

Over the past ten days we've seen the rolling announcements out of Attachmate as SuSE gets spun into a separate organization with a return to Germany and Mono employees (along with many other Novell employees) find themselves on the...

05/06/11

The End of the Symbian Foundation

[Caveat Lector: I was one of the consultants Symbian Ltd. called in to help with early planning towards the Symbian Foundation.] It’s been almost six months since the Symbian Foundation announced it was shutting its doors. Nokia...

03/24/11

Red Hat Obfuscation is a Tempest in a Teapot

I encountered another reference in the mainstream analysis to Red Hat “obfuscating” their work on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This really is a tempest in a teapot.  It makes economic sense for Red Hat to get any true kernel fixes...

03/16/11

Solving the Apple App Store Incompatibility with the GPL

Here’s an idea for all open source legal experts to gnaw on and solve for the community. I saw today that Apple pulled down the VLC media player because of the conflict between the GPL and the Apple App Store terms of service. The...

01/10/11

Of Coffee Houses and Code Communities

Brian Proffitt has a great article on the difference between communities and crowdsourcing and how companies still often get it wrong with respect to their community building by treating them as a group that will get things done. I...

11/24/10

Makers, Users and Buyers of Open Source Software

More and more is being written about governance and license compliance and open source. The FUD of lawsuits continues unabated. Simon Phipps has an excellent post on trying to break out of the conversational frame that some use...

10/25/10

How to Talk to Your Lawyer about Open Source Software

If you’re a developer that wants to use free and open source software then sooner or later you’re going to need to talk to a lawyer. Many developers have a working understanding of software intellectual property, but unfortunately...

09/29/10

It’s Not That Complicated

We seem to be seeing a rise again in the discussions surrounding free and open source software licensing complexity, and the fear that open source may infect or taint your software. Glyn Moody wrote about the recent BlackDuck white...

09/23/10

Please Don’t Confuse Standards with Open Source Software

Some people want to merge the idea of free and open source software with standards, and indeed open the discussion into one of “open standards.” This confuses two ideas that are very different once you get beyond the idea they both...

09/16/10

Open Source: No one is working for free

People continue to wonder how to make money in the free and open source software world. It’s dressed up in discussions of how one makes money when you give away the software for free, or why developers are working for free. It can...

09/02/10

A FOSS project isn’t necessarily a software product

Confusion often reigns over how to judge free and open source software (FOSS) as people investigate using it in their businesses. Do they use Red Hat Advanced Server? Fedora? CentOS? Should they use the community edition of the...

08/27/10

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