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LinuxPlanet: .comment: Lawyers, Guns, and Money

Jun 14, 2000, 13:14 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dennis E. Powell)

[ Thanks to Kevin Reichard for this link. ]

"...A number of companies have become involved in development of particular open-source applications and packages. The involvement has included monetary support, payment of salaries to programmers already working on free Linux applications, development and contribution of new features or extensions (I'm talking about features and extensions that are then returned, open source, to the projects, not the always-helpful Microsoft seizing upon the Kerberos code, making it incompatible, and slamming a proprietary lid on it), or actually hiring programmers to work under the aegis of the company itself on particular packages, the code going to the open source organization that originated the packages. The dominant view is that this is generally a good thing."

"And it can be. But it can also become a bad thing, and unless some lines are drawn, it's a sure bet that it will."

"As what follows unfolds, it will seem very much as if I'm portraying some of the players as villains. I am not. Repeat: I am not. I am very specifically making no accusations. Nor am I saying that anyone isn't a villain. Instead, I'll illustrate a couple of examples of companies working with the development of KDE. We'll hear from those companies and from leaders in the noncommercial aspects of Linux. We'll hear from a leader within KDE itself."

"And then we'll ponder the potential for something to go terribly wrong."

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