Network Computing: Small Steps for Sun

“Back in the November 1, 1999, issue, I wrote a column scoffing
at Sun’s newfound affection for open source-style software
licensing. Now that details of the company’s Sun Community Source
License (SCSL) have been released, I must say that Sun’s approach
is a reasonable first step in opening its software source

“SCSL basically amounts to a “try before you buy” policy for
licensing software source code. It’s a far cry from the Open
Software Foundation’s policies toward software licensing, but
expecting Sun to go directly to the open software model from the
proprietary licensing world is simply unrealistic….

“If access to source code is a primary goal and if protecting
the intellectual property embodied in source code is no longer
critical, why hasn’t Sun gone directly to the open source model?
Ultimately, if the folks at Sun want to do the right thing they’ll
adopt the open source model. But completely abandoning licensing as
a revenue stream would take more guts than we should expect from
any company. Basically, the assertion “We’ll make more money if we
give it away” is one best achieved with small steps-particularly if
the one who utters the assertion wants to keep his or her job.”