Open Source is as American as the Boston Tea Party
BOSTON, February 16, 2001 - In a gesture of friendship and
reconciliation, e-smith, inc. wishes to reassure Microsoft Corp.
that it has no plans to violate the Redmond giant's intellectual
"There's really no need for Bill Gates and his people to
fear the loss of their intellectual property," e-smith CEO Joseph
Morrison said. "The truth is, we don't want their code. Why would
we, when we already have something that's much better for our
In an interview this week, James Allchin, Microsoft's Windows
operating-system chief, Jim Allchin, suggested that freely
distributed software code such as Linux is un-American and poses a
grave threat to intellectual property rights.
"Open source is an intellectual-property destroyer," Allchin
said. "I can't imagine something that could be worse than this for
the software business and the intellectual-property business."
Allchin added that the open-source business model could stifle
initiative in the computer industry. "I'm an American, I believe in
the American Way," he said. "I worry if the government encourages
open source, and I don't think we've done enough education of
policy makers to understand the threat."
Responded Morrison: "Far from being a threat to the American
Way, open source is all about volunteerism and enlightened
self-interest, two things that have been part of the American
spirit at least since the Boston Tea Party."
Morrison, whose company produces the world's leading open source
server solution for small-business, said he can understand why
Microsoft is afraid to compete with companies such as e-smith.
e-smith's flagship software product, the Linux-based e-smith server
and gateway, is not only faster to install and easier to use than
Microsoft's Small Business Server, it is also far more reliable and
Still, Morrison said Microsoft is mistaken if it believes that
open source software threatens intellectual property rights.
Companies such as e-smith that contribute their code to the open
source community do so voluntarily because it makes good business
sense and because they share the open source movement's passion for
innovation. Meanwhile, older, more traditional companies such as
Microsoft that prefer to keep their code to themselves are free to
do so, with no threat whatsoever to their intellectual
"e-smith creates innovative, reliable server solutions for small
businesses," Morrison said. "Our customers want the latest and most
advanced networking technology, which is why we base our solutions
on Linux. If Microsoft chooses to stick with older, legacy
technologies, we certainly will not complain."
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