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Slate: Don't Listen to Bill Gates. The Open-Source Movement Isn't Communism.

Nov 23, 2005, 01:00 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Adam L. Penenberg)

"This month, SAP's Shai Agassi referred to open-source software as 'intellectual property socialism.' In January, Bill Gates suggested that free-software developers are communists. A few years earlier, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called the open-source operating system Linux 'a cancer.' Considering what these guys say in public, I wonder what dark words they utter in private--that al-Qaida uses open-source software to plot terrorist attacks?

"The philosophy behind open-source software is simple. Instead of zealously protecting source code--the blood and guts of any computer program--open source encourages any programmer to tear apart the code and build it back up again. The theory is that this collaborative process encourages innovation and decreases bugs by increasing the number of people with a stake in the project..."

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