Where is open source innovation?

Name an open source project whose work does not replicate what is available in the proprietary world, which is a real innovation.

TiVo logo
One basic fact about open source is that much if it replicates things previously done elsewhere.

Projects like Mozilla and Openoffice are all about offering free replacements to  proprietary monopolies. Databases like mySQL are still working on "innovations" proprietary products had years ago.

This is true in Linux as well and it's not necessarily a bad thing. The business models of open source aren’t about what the software is or does, but what you can make it do. Services, system integration, and maintenance are where the money is, not in the software itself.

What got me started down this line of thought was an article on a political site complaining of how innovators like TiVo are being destroyed by copyright lawyers.

The author concluded

The problem is, what kind of incentive is this to innovation if the innovators are ruined while the massive media companies get all the profits? Why not invest in China, or India, or anywhere else, since there's no profit to be had here that isn't already divvied up by the old and the stale?

My immediate answer was, well look at open source. Then I looked at open source, again. And I didn’t see a lot of real innovation. I didn't like what I saw.

Maybe that’s just me. It might be a turkey hangover. Your homework (should you decide to do it) is to name an open source project whose work does not replicate what is available in the proprietary world, which is a real innovation.

I’m anxious to hear from you.

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