Our first goal for '06, out with the lawyers

Let's cut the need for lawyers in open source. I think this is an achievable goal.

animated lawyerThe heart of current FUD about open source projects is this.

Once you let open source in, you're going to be strangled by lawyers. There are so many different open source contracts, with so many different rights (and responsibilities) that only the good people at Dewey, Cheatham & Howe offer you hope of security. And they will take you for everything you've got. So don't be a chump. Use technology to identify and eliminate all open source code from your enterprise. Buy only from reliable vendors. It's the only way to be safe.

There is a grain of truth in that, but only a grain. Usually an audit will show that it's the proprietary guys who are throwing open source bits in their mix, it's not the other way around. If you want to play legal games, both sides can throw paper. And if you want to cry thief, remember that the D.A. can indict a ham sandwich.

So this is my goal for 2006. Let's cut the need for lawyers in open source. I think this is an achievable goal. It's certainly a big part of the effort on revising the GPL, delivering something that will reduce the need for lawyers worldwide. The OSDL is also working in this direction with its goal of reducing the number of active open source licenses and of building a patent commons.

How far will this important work get in 2006?

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