Linux Foundation cynics ask merger or takeover?

Is this simply a matter of consolidating the legal and engineering resources of Linux, or is this a way for big vendors to take command of the open source movement with "one throat to choke," in this case Jim Zemlin, who had been running the FSG?

The weekend merger of the OSDL and the Free Software Standards Foundation Group to form the Linux Foundation sounds great in theory.

Until you start reading some of the media coverage.

According to The New York Times, all this was midwifed by IBM, HP and Intel, who decided to "consolidate their collaborative support" under the new group.

So is this a merger or a takeover? Is this simply a matter of consolidating the legal and engineering resources of Linux, or is this a way for big vendors to take command of the open source movement with "one throat to choke," in this case Jim Zemlin, who had been running the FSG?

And is this really progress? The new group says it will have a total of 45 full-time and contract employees. I believe that's less than the two groups had, combined, just a few months ago.

Certainly there is much going on in the Linux world, and this puts it all under one roof. Among their weaponry are such diverse elements as the Linux trademark, the Patent Commons, Open Source as Prior Art, the Linux Legal Defense Fund, and Linus' bar tabs.

But where is that roof? At Zemlin's San Francisco office or up near Portland, where Linus Torvalds himself lives? Will the great man have to start drinking inferior lagers, or will he still be able to quaff the excellent ales of Oregon? (Portland is also home to truly excellent teas.)

No small questions. When I get answers I will report back promptly. Meanwhile feel free to speculate.  

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All