In his interview last week with our ownDavid Berlind Microsoft open source strategist Jason Matusow (right) articulated a new open source concept I call negotiable source.
Negotiable source means you can negotiate for some open source rights and the responsibility that comes with them. As Matusow wrote in his own blog, 'Just because the code is there does not mean people are looking at it. More importantly, it does not mean that the right people are looking at it.'
The right people, in this case, are those who understand it, who are ethical, and who are accountable both to their employer and toMicrosoft for what they do with the code.
Companies that in the past only had closed source policies, like Microsoft and Sun, are now engaged in a balancing act between business interests and customer needs, adds Berlind, which is where this new formulation comes from. I think that's about right.
That's right as in accurate, but is it right as in correct? You might get some source access but you must be accountable for what results.
Let us know what you think of this negotiable source concept in TalkBack.