Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Microsoft's Plan to Kill Open Source

ms.linux.jpgLinux.com (don't worry, I emptied my cache after visiting this site):

The OSI License-Discuss mailing list has been ablaze for the past few days since Microsoft submitted its Permissive License (MS-PL) to the OSI [Open Source Initiative] for official open source license approval. Jon Rosenberg, source program director for Microsoft, posted, "Microsoft believes that this license provides unique value to the open source community by delivering simplicity, brevity, and permissive terms combined with intellectual property protection."

So Microsoft is getting a bit into the open source game. To the lay eye this may seem like a strange move. Is Microsoft opening up?

Of course not. Microsoft is doing exactly what the GPL has been doing -- growing like a cancer and silently killing an industry. Except now it's Microsoft that is going to kill what has become an industry of its own: open source. Microsoft's tactic is simple: stretch the meaning of the term open source.

Open source is already a stretched term. It started out as Free Software, you know, the brainchild of King Richard. However people found it too political and, frankly, extremist. So they created something more liberal: open source.

Microsoft will now start submitting licenses that are more and more restrictive. The first step is the Permissive License. When this one is accepted, Microsoft will create a more restrictive one. Not much more restrictive, just a little. So the open source people will say, well, we accepted the previous one and this one is only a little bit more restrictive, so we'll allow it.

Give it a few years and open source will be just as closed as your average bank safe.