Are you a white hat, a black hat, or a gray hat?

Obviously most of us are Gray Hats, but as Christopher Lowell will tell you there are many shades of gray out there.

Eric Raymond's laughing rejection of an approach from Microsoft, and Drew Gardner's piece here about the legal implications of open source,  lead me to believe that everyone has to choose a side in the open source world.

So are you a

  • White hat, someone who stands on the principles of open source, such as the GPL?
  • Black hat, someone who believes in the principle of IP, enforced by law?
  • Gray hat, someone who can go either way, depending on the situation at hand, and your circumstances?

Obviously most of us are Gray Hats, but as Christopher Lowell will tell you there are many shades of gray out there. So just for fun, I've devised a little test for you to take, which might tell you how gray your hat really is:

  1. What's more important to you, the principle or the legal document?
  2. If Microsoft offered you $100,000 to go after Linux in some way, are you taking the job?
  3. Do you really read EULAs?
  4. Do you want them to be rigorously enforced?
  5. What gives you a bigger kick, a finished project or a big check?
  6. Do you love or hate the GPL?
  7. Who would you rather be, Steve Ballmer or Linus Torvalds?
  8. Who would you prefer your son or daughter to be?
  9. Who would you prefer them to marry?
  10. Does he (or she) who dies with the most toys win, or he (she) who dies with the most knowledge?

Grade yourself. It's on the honor system. The more proprietary answers you give, the grayer your own hat likely is. The goal here is for you to know yourself. (If you need help with that call the FBI.)

Have a good weekend.