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Innovation

Another loss for the proprietary model

The copyright model of absolute protection for 100 years is being replaced, through open source, with a model more akin to that of patents.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive on
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Reports that Microsoft and Adobe are breaking out the lawyers over the PDF format is being spun in many ways. As an antitrust battle. As a feature battle.

Is Microsoft trying to run down Adobe? Is Adobe being too close with PDF?

But one piece of spin seems incontrovertible. It's another loss for the proprietary business model.

This sort of thing just does not happen in open source. When file formats are open source, any other project who offers support for it is offering just that -- support.

When money and market share aren't at issue, cooperation becomes assumed. If everyone in the open source world is using the same file format that's not a monopoly -- it's a standard.

The proprietary world cannot work in this way. It is always about my property vs. your property. Only the rhetoric gives the user service, and then it's lip service.

This is why the replacement of the proprietary software model with that of open source -- for basic software services -- is only a matter of time.

There will always be a window for proprietary products, in my view. But open source, over time, will shrink that window. The copyright model of absolute protection for 100 years is being replaced, through open source, with a model more akin to that of patents.

And that's a good thing.

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