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Re: What the hell is happening to Debian ? (and FLOSS in general)

On Sat, 28 Feb 2004 10:10:48 +0100
Julien BLACHE <jblache@debian.org> wrote:

> Don't we have enough Free Software or Open Source licenses already ?
> Do we really need to complicate things up to the level of proprietary
> licenses?

The maturity level, and therefore the commercial attraction for open
source software could well assist in building a case for the abolition
of the GPL by interested parties (I'm not just talking about SCO, here,
the GPL is seen as an inconvenience by a number of parties).
Microsoft has recently gained patent approval for an application
involving XML, itself an open source application. I find it hard to
believe that XML is the only open source aspect that wealthy, powerful
lobby groups would be interested in.

If the open source community gives the appearance of being inconsistent,
disorganised, in disarray, this not only gives the appearance of
vulnerability, inviting attack, but encourages other parties such as
those of a governmental, jurisprudential, and regulatory nature a
motive/rationalisation to move in on the situation and 'tidy it up.'

The informality of the open source community is a great thing, and I
feel we need to preserve that. Expression of disagreement, even flame
wars to a certain degree, allow for the level of repressional release
that allows the community to continue to produce efficiently. Maturity
is brought about by interaction within the community context, and is not
a process which ceases once childhood is over. But I have been thinking
lately that a greater level of organisation between all the different
aspects of the community would place us all in a far stronger position
in times of need, that I feel are not too far away.


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