Brian Behlendorf of CollabNet argues that debate between
Microsoft and the open source/Free Software community has
needlessly polarized to the point that a valuable middle ground has
been overlooked. The item's a bit of a pitch for both CollabNet
(which markets something a lot like the commentator's "middle
ground") and the O'Reilly convention (where Craig Mundie will be
involved in a much-hyped debate with open source figures):
"...Let's start with a few assumptions. First, all
software needs a critical mass of developers to build it, maintain
it, and make it usable for others. Second, developers will not
always magically appear around an open-source project once it's
launched; "if you build it, they will come" is not always true, and
there are plenty of stillborn open-source projects that provide
evidence for that.
Third, not all users of the software will want to become
developers of it or to even get technical enough to know how to
compile it themselves.
In this situation, though an open-source approach would work in
theory, the reality is that the only software likely to get created
will use a license that mandates payments back to the software's
authors--in other words, a non-open-source license."