"As news events go, Sun Microsystems (SUNW) vice president Marco
Boerries' 15-minute post-keynote speech today at the O'Reilly Open
Source Conference here had about as much shock value as a summer
"Thanks to some aggressive hinting on Sun's part, not to mention
the open source community's penchant for rumor-mongering (see this
Slashdot thread), Boerries' presence had been reduced to a mere
formality within the past 72 hours. Still, given a chance to
address the assembled development community, Boerries seemed to
take special delight in spelling out his company's new licensing
strategy for StarOffice, the network-based office productivity
suite Sun purchased last year as a potential foil to market-leader
Microsoft (MSFT) Office."
"Let me just say three letters: G-P-L," said Boerries,
triggering a loud ovation. (For those not in the know, Boerries was
speaking of the Gnu General Public License -- the license that
protects the GNU/Linux operating system.)"
"While it may not have been a bombshell, the announcement
did come with a touch of irony. One year ago, at the same
conference, Sun co-founder Bill Joy diligently reaffirmed the
corporate policy on open source software development. Citing both
the complex issues associated with multiple software licenses and
the presence of a "common enemy" -- Sun-speak for Microsoft -- Joy
said it made more sense for Sun to stick with a single restrictive
license -- the oft-criticized Sun Community Source License, or SCSL
-- rather than cede control to the community."
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