Is open source a scam against itself?

Summary:Forbes says it so it must be true. Open source software is a scam that open source software companies are running on themselves.

Forbes says it so it must be true. Open source software is a scam that open source software companies are running on themselves.

The "news hook" here is IBM offering its recently-acquired Gluecode code free, in a move that seems aimed at JBoss. Author Daniel Lyons finds himself practically laughing at JBoss chief Marc Fleury (left), catching him in a moment of self-pity.  "Where does this all end? When the whole deck of cards, the whole software industry, falls apart?"

In fact, JBoss is moving smartly into Asia and into government markets. I wrote about JBoss in March. They're not backing down from a fight with anyone, even IBM. Customers will benefit from Gluecode's free code and from JBoss' offerings. One statement of exasperation is not despair, unless that's what you're looking for.

It's true that open source brings what I would call Moore's Law efficiencies to software for the first time. It's speeding the industry's evolution, and since IBM is the biggest player it benefits. Open source may indeed be bad for industry revenues overall.

But it's the old, proprietary, EULA-based, closed source world that was the scam, not the open source world.

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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