Charles Engelke's Blog

July 9, 2003

OSCON Day 3: Session – Open Development and Commercial Business Models

Filed under: Ozette Brown — Charles Engelke @ 7:20 pm

Now this was an interesting open ended discussion. The panel included, Tim O’reilly, a guy from Microsoft, a guy from a financial institution, and a venture capitalist.
The talk started 15min before I got there, but that didn’t
seem to matter. Overall the discussion seemed to be about the “value of IP and does it work in Open Source”.
There was a guy from Microsoft there that supported “shared source”. His stance was that you can place price on Intellectual Property and
and have your users keep purchasing things like software upgrades, new versions and so on.
The Open Source folks stated just the opposite. They believe that code contribution by as many people who want to participate
is more important.

Someone gave the analogy of a car that needs to be fixed. One one hand, the proprietary view is that take the car back to the dealer
and have the dealer fix it, no matter what the cost because this is a good thing. On the other hand, the common view is you have the option
to buy the parts you need and do it yourself.

So, how do you collect on the value of IP? It depends;

  • give it away
  • software patents
  • copyrights

    I think a bigger issue is, look at who is prospering financially from using open source tools without at least giving back to the community.
    IBM seems to be changing this mold to a degree. Hey, it’s a start.

    The talk seemed to remind me of a keynote last year from Craig Mundee (spelled wrong) from Microsoft.

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