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Red Hat exec takes Sun to task on open source September 24, 2004

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.

Interesting peice on News.com although i feel that fighting amongst executives an incredibly stupid thing to do. one thing i will respond to Tiemann on is this direct quote:

“Would you create a fund to defend open-source developers against the predatory practice of other patent holders? Would you put your financial muscle and lobbying credibility behind fighting software patents–something our community universally hates because it threatens our ability to innovate?”

Your ability to innovate? It keeps people from taking proprietary source code, thats not supposed to be in any Open Source project
from being contributed. Why should Sun create a fund for protecting open Source developers? So those same developers can go around and steal and pilfer code and say “Thats okay, Sun will protect us and give us money to fight in court” from a corporate standpoint such funds are incredibly stupid and where is red hats confidence in the open Source community, they only contributed $100,000 dollars to their “defense fund” the rest of it coming from a wide variety of donaters with Red hat being the steward of the fund. Thats not a suitable replacement for indemnification. Red hats fund just states, hey if you get sued for an Open Source product we will give you money to defend yourself but we wont support you directly. Microsoft, Sun, SCO, and even Apple offer true indemnification where the company says “You have a problem with the product, talk to our lawyers” Red Hat does not offer indemnification for Linux. the only ones who offer indemnification for Linux is Novell and HP, Novell because HP pressured them to do it and HP offers indemnification if you get all your bits and software code from HP. Meaning if you recompile your kernel, you dont get indemnification. If you download bits through a CVS you dont get indemnified. HP basically controls your distribution and what you can do with the system. With open source becoming more visible I have a feeling we will see more lawsuits popping up. Not all developers are honest people. I have a real problem with the fact that the open Source community lets anyone contribute and there are no checks and balances to keep the developers honest. Some of these developers are going to be called out on their dishonest tactics and its about goddamn time.



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