The complaints and concerns over Oracle’s pending acquisition of Sun Microsystems and open source MySQL database grew this week to calls for the acquisition, or at least the relatively small MySQL part of it, to be blocked. The Open Rights Group calling for such blockage was joined by none other than the father of the free software movement, Richard Stallman. However, I have to once again question how free and open are these free and open source software advocates? Is the movement and FOSS open to all (except Microsoft, Oracle or anyone else the Open Rights Group, Richard Stallman or any …[Read more]
Following the release of our report, ‘The Myth of Open Source License Proliferation’ and during research for it, we heard and sensed a feeling that open source software licenses had evolved to become a generally well-accepted piece of the the enterprise IT and IP market. However, we also heard from numerous vendors, developers and other individuals that the next battlefront is obviously software patents, which are in need of reform, according to many supporters of free and open source software.
This week, we saw some of the software patent skirmishes that are driving and validating this thinking. There was first news that the Open Invention Network, the consortium dedicated to legal and IP defense of Linux, had bought some software patents that related to …[Read more]
Code scanning and management vendor Black Duck reports the GNU General Public License v2 (GPLv2) now dipping below 50% share of open source software. While we already knew that GPLv2 was somewhat in decline from its far greater share of open source code over the last 5-10 years, it is useful to know what pool of code we’re talking about. We must also remember that while GPLv2 may not be as dominant as it once was and that other licenses, particularly GPLv3, are quickly gaining share, GPLv2 is still quite relevant to enterprise open source software, is used in a variety of newer and popular applications across the enterprise stack and is likely to remain in the top 10 licenses for a long time.
Regarding GPLv2 and Black Duck’s findings, some folks are rightly asking what code and how much of it are we considering where GPLv2 accounts for half or less of the …[Read more]