Google gets an open source nip from DVD Jon

Google gets an open source nip from DVD Jon

Summary: We were talking the other day about how, when a company opens its code up to enhancement by others it needs to be prepared for the Law of Unintended Consequences.Well you might designate this as Prosecution Exhibit B.

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TOPICS: Google
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Google DaVinciWe were talking the other day about how, when a company opens its code up to enhancement by others it needs to be prepared for the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Well you might designate this as Prosecution Exhibit B.

It seems that when Google launched its new video search service it also offered a free Video Viewer, designed only for use on-site, but based on an existing open source project. This was shortly after launching its Google Code project, where programmers are allowed access to Google's own software so they can create enhancements.

Jon Johansen -- the same fellow who started the DECSS case by creating a Linux DVD player -- spent a bit of time with it and created a bit of code on his Nanocrew.net site that, he says, ends that restriction and makes this a general video viewer.

Google was not amused. They didn't go ballistic. They simply recommended people not use the code, saying it might be unstable. I personally find that heartening, hence my choice of illustration, placed on their home page in honor of Leonardo DaVinci's birthday.

Topic: Google

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  • All in all

    a good thing. Given that Google put the bits out, it would take some pretty rosy glasses to think that they would remain unreadable.

    This is a wake-up call, reminding them that they shouldn't count on security through obscurity. I'm a big fan of Google; their people are so obviously on a collective creative high.

    Sometimes, though, you have to come down off the high and consider the downside.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
  • And the big deal is?

    Well, I looked around and saw nothing about google being upset about this. What would anyone expect with the link for the code right there? Seems to me that's what it's for.

    The viewer download is written for windows (typically convenient). The link to the code is right under that.

    Are you saying that google didn't think this would happen? I would like to read what google said about it. Where is the link?
    xstep
    • There's a reason I used the DaVinci Google

      I think they handled this pretty well. Although I question just how "dangerous" the additional code is. I'm no expert, but should I trust Google's word for its being dangerous?
      DanaBlankenhorn