Development curse

Summary:What is the biggest force holding back your development?Viruses?

What is the biggest force holding back your development?

Viruses? Incompetence? Management?

Nope. Lawyers.

Lawyers, chiefly patent and copyright attorneys, are in my opiniondestroying the tech sector. It's not that they do this intentionally. They just want to be paid. (Of course termites just want to eat, too.)

Legal contracts bind users and developers of proprietary software tightly with their language. Open source was an attempt to get around that, with simple rules that made everyone free.

But here they are. The GPL is "restrictive,"lawyers say. Other licenses are "incompatible." It's "dangerous" to have open source code, because someone might find something that someone else might claim to own.

The SCO Group may be the Cantor and Siegel of this siege. As the infamous immigration attorneys launched the spam wars a decade ago, so SCO has launched the open source legal war, which is slowly robbing everyone of any potential profit (financial or otherwise) from any development effort, ever.

The question is what, if anything, can be done about it.

Is there an anti-viral that works against lawyers?

Let me know about it in TalkBack.

Topics: Open Source

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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