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02.06.08

Don’t Start Unnecessary Wars. Give Palamida a Break…

Posted in BSD, DRM, Free/Libre Software, FSF, FUD, GNU/Linux, GPL, Kernel, Microsoft, OSI, Tivoization at 5:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A fortnight ago we mentioned the scrutiny which Hewlett-Packard and Palamida had come under. Palamida is probably misunderstood by its critics, whereas the only real concern over H-P should its scale, which could push businesses like Black Duck or Palamida aside, i.e. gain at their expense.

Brian at LinuxToday has just published a an informative short article that sheds a little more light on the situation, having published an article on this matter just a week ago.

Now, five years later, Palamida is still going strong… albeit under a cloud of increasing concern from the open source community.

The perception about Palamida, Black Duck, and now the community project FOSSology held by many in the community is that somehow these organizations cast a pall on open source software. By locating open source in their client’s IT infrastructure, they seem to be enabling the removal of such software.

The 451 Group added to the discussion by mapping the players in this market and stressing that it’s a matter of understanding (or orientation), not removal. This space is also getting rather crowded on the face of it.

It used to be there were only a couple of players in town who combed through software code, specifically looking for open source packages and licenses: Black Duck and Palamida. A year ago, we figured there was plenty of room for additional players…

Over the weekend we mentioned some seemingly-mysterious BSD-GPL hostilities, which are in some way similar to the love-hate relationship one finds when it comes to companies that track and inform about Free software. The GPL(v3)/FSF vs. Linus/Linux kernel hostility is another example. Much of it is to do with Tivo.

“This seems to be begging for unjustified separation.”One particular interview that is used to isolate and fracture the two sides has been titled with the statement from Stallman: “If you care about freedom, don’t follow Linus.” This seems to be begging for unjustified separation. Stallman talked about philosophy at the time, not the engineering of the excellent kernel. GNU and Linux get along just fine. The press just exaggerates things a little. And yes — the same goes for BSD-GPL flamewars that are fueled by outside factors.

Speaking of hostility, Information Week appears to be creating some of these civil wars, just as Microsoft intended (see "evangelism is war").

While we’re on the subject of software licences, it is worth adding that the AGPL might soon be added to the OSI’s list of approved Open Source licences.

If you follow open source, or at least this blog, you remember the debate around GPL and the ASP loophole. In a nutshell, companies using a trick to avoid returning changes to the code back to the community. The last chapter is that AGPL v3 (the GPL version that fixes the ASP loophole) was finalized in November, and we switched the Funambol project to it.

Shortly after its release, the momentum of AGPLV3 began with Funambol. There have been other noteworthy adoptions since then, e.g. [1, 2, 3].

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