I've been invited to speak at the Irish Web Technology Conference 2008, in Dublin a week from today, on the subject of Open Source Licensing. If you assume that this is the Dublin in Ireland, and not any of the Dublins in California, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, or Virginia, you would be correct.
Kevin Kelly's Better than Free blog posting has some useful insights for people trying to profit from their Open Source development. He speaks of "Generatives", which are attributes of something which are not, and cannot be, part of a free distribution.
On January 31st 2008, Mary Jo Foley posted an insightful blog about Microsoft's Open Source Strategy. On the morning of February 1st 2008, Microsoft announced an unsolicited bid of $44.6B hostile for Yahoo!, and by the end of the day, Microsoft had lost $20B in market capitalization. Where does this leave Microsoft's open source strategy and the analysis thereof?
Andy Updegrove posts yet another insightful analysis on the evolution of standards in the modern technology. He reports that the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has decided 3-to-2 that a licensing promise made in a standards development process trumps the private right to hold licensees for ransom when a 3rd party later acquires the patent. This is bad news for patent trolls, but great news for the rest of us.
The Ardour project is an open source digital audio workstation. To many in the recording studio business, digital audio workstation is written DAW. Unwritten is widely held belief that recording studio platforms come in two varieties: proprietary native platforms like Mac OSX and Microsoft Windows, and DigiDesign's HD system (which is a proprietary hardware add-on). Ardour demonstrates that there is a new game in town, and that new game is open source.
We've gotten a number of licenses submissions over the years, which attempt to be "succinter than thou". I guess that people feel that even a license as simple as the BSD license is too complicated.