Related link: http://www.networkcomputing.com/1208/1208colshipley.html
Licensing is about the only way a proprietary software vendor can sell its product to large companies. Unfortunately, licensing systems can fail. If your corporate security depends on licensing, you have another reason for security to fail. Does this mean that proprietary software and security don’t mix? (A lot of people don’t believe software is secure unless the code has been publicly audited anyway.)
Over on the ZDNet website, Evan Leibovitch, accuses Apple of being an Open Source Black Hole and calls them the Big Lie of the year.
Well, I don’t agree with that opinion.
Apple has given back exactly what was asked of them by the BSD community. Evan is asking them to give back more than they have taken.
He wrongly asserts that they haven’t given anything back. The Darwin project is an open source project started by Apple to allow the source code for the project to be available to the community. The code they have taken is made available via the Darwin project. They also have paid developers working on the project, which in my opinion is giving back to the community.
However, that wasn’t what was asked for by the BSD license.
The BSD license is designed to allow a piece of software to become a standard and be used in proprietary software, without requiring anything except recognition. Apple has done that, and more.
Apple has used BSD software to create their product and they have openly recognized the fact. They have gone one step farther by making the code available via the Darwin Project, which is an official Apple project.
While, it would be nice if Apple went even further and open sourced some of their other components, we can’t require it of them just because we want it. The accusations that Apple isn’t giving back seems unfair in light of the agreement they signed and just designed scare people into using the GPL, a license that forces its creator to make compromises in order to make the software “free.”
I’m not in favor of software licenses that inhibit my rights as a developer to receive a fair return on my investment of time and money.
The Boston Globe reports today
that “AT&T Broadband, Verizon announce hikes of 15% to 25%.” Two articles at CNET are more long-lived:
AT&T hikes cable access rates
Broadband Net rates continue to climb.
Both companies admit they are taking advantage of the lack of competition. Why is there so little competition? Leaving aside the complicated cable access issue (which I cover in several articles) the competing carriers were squeezed between 1) high costs for basic lines and equipment and 2) low prices from the incumbent phone companies.
The kicker is that the incumbent phone companies were responsible for both 1 and 2. There are lots of accusations that 1 was artificially high and 2 artificially low, accusations that are almost impossible to investigate because of the complex technical and cost structures at the incumbents.
Now, can Billy Tauzin continue to dare pushing his deregulation bill, and Michael Powell his deregulation of incumbents at the FCC, which would ensure continued monopolies in local phone service and hide behind the smokescreen of increasing competition in long-distance service–an area where we have plenty of competition already?