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O'ReillyNet: The Growing Politicization of Open Source

Aug 17, 2002, 07:00 (67 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tim O'Reilly)

"I just received some thought-provoking mail in response to the recent news about the proposed Digital Software Security Act, which would require open source software to be used in California state agencies. According to news.com, 'If enacted as written, state agencies would be able to buy software only from companies that do not place restrictions on use or access to source code.'

"This mail comes from someone I've worked with for the past several years in promoting open source in corporate America. He's a thoughtful advocate for the benefits of open source, but he's disturbed (as am I) by the growing politicization of open source. He asked me to keep his mail anonymous, because he doesn't have permission to speak for his employer (and it's not Microsoft!). He wrote:

"Is it just me, or does it seem that a vocal portion of the Open Source community is starting to get radicalized and politicized...?"

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