The Apple-Oracle plot against open source

Summary:When they ran off to competitors Oracle bought them. When that competitor was open source Oracle bought them. What the community thinks is open source can be taken back. Open source lives by the contract and it will die by the contract.

It's really quite clever.

Tie Google up in court, sign a deal with Apple to coordinate development of Java, and ignore the open source community.

It's all about the Great Game, and you're not invited to play. (Pictures from Wikimedia, mash-up by The Gimp, lame skills by the author.)

When the ASF made its decision to threaten withdrawal from the Java Community Process there was an implied assumption that it represented the muscle behind Java development, and Google represented the money.

What Oracle is saying in response is both can be replaced, easily, by signing an alliance.

It appears to all be part of a coordinated strategy. Oracle wants to prove to large enterprises that there is no place to hide from it.

When they ran off to competitors Oracle bought them. When that competitor was open source Oracle bought them. What the community thinks is open source can be taken back. Open source lives by the contract and it will die by the contract.

That's a message Apple can get behind. Apple has never had any interest in the open source community. It's a nuisance, a bunch of so-called idealists who copy its ideas and prevent it from gaining the monopoly rents it feels its innovation deserves.

Who knows, after this latest thing with Kinect, and the ongoing TurbuHercules drama maybe Microsoft and IBM are ready to stop flirting with open source and start playing hardball again.

It's hard to believe open source might be put back into its bottle, but with a coordinated legal attack, a discouraging set of acquisitions and coordination with lobbyists to make copyright and patent rights more enforceable worldwide, maybe Oracle thinks it can pull it off.

If it can cause the top end of the market to surrender and admit that scaled development requires a proprietary partner, Oracle comes out ahead. And as those enterprises see open source threatening their market leadership, they will fall in line with its political goals.

It's just business. It's not like we're talking about a movie plot here.

Topics: Apple, Open Source, Oracle, Software Development

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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