EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

05.18.10

Protecode is FUD and It’s Proprietary

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft at 1:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Protecode for fear

Summary: A company on the block warns about “Linux licences” being all scary and dangerous (and Protecode offers the ‘medicine’ to them)

THE OTHER day we mentioned a company called Protecode in a post about Microsoft’s harm to Free/open source software. Protecode is a proprietary software company which is spreading FUD about GNU/Linux and Free software for a living (it does other things too).

This company has just ‘injected’ a very long advertisement (disguised as article) into IDG (shame on IDG for collaborating). The disclosure appears only after one skips 5 pages and discovers that it’s the same trick telemarketers and snake oil marketers use. The FUD piece which names both “Linux” and “open source” licences (there is no such thing as “Linux licences”) came from Dr. Mahshad Koohgoli, the CEO of Protecode. He is trying to spread some fear after receiving ammunition from the Gartner Group (and Microsoft would probably be grinning too from afar)

Basically, this a classic business model: exaggerate problems in order to then sell a solution to those problems (usually more perceived than real). Black Duck is doing this too. It’s in the business of selling fear because wherever there is fear there is a business opportunity and if people can be misled, they will pay. Black Duck has Microsoft roots and so does OpenLogic [1, 2, 3], which does something similar. The following new article nicely classifies open-source (open minus source) companies as follows:

Recently a colleague from Apache commented to me that there are no such things as open-source companies. Instead, he identified a few types of companies that “make money out of open source”:

• via expertise in consultancy
• hoarding copyright ownership for a big sale
• providing additional value on top of open-source products
• licensing fear, uncertainty and doubt (choosing GPL to make users who fear GPL pay)

[...]

The second model where GPL is used is to protect code and force companies to buy a commercial (i.e. non-open-source) license. The logic is simple: Most companies don’t like GPL. The company that owns the copyright to a GPL codebase can re-license the code under a different license to those willing to pay.

One ought to pay careful attention to former Microsoft employees who create companies that not only spread fear of Free software but also enable those former Microsoft employees to make money in the process (win-win situation).

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

3 Comments

  1. Joanne12 said,

    May 18, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Gravatar

    I don’t get it. According to the arguments in this blog, static code analysis providers such as IBM, Coverity, Klocware and LDRA are spreading fear because they can detect bugs in code. Cisco is spreading fear because their Network Management System detects inefficiencies in network utilization. Solutions like those offered by Protecode, Blackduck, Fossology encourage use of open source. Open source is wonderful, but the spirit of open source is respecting the rules (licenses) associated with their use.

    Sorry Dr Roy, but your argument seems like a juvenile excitement-based open-source-evangelist crap from an unemployed consultant.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I don’t get it. According to the arguments in this blog, static code analysis providers such as IBM, Coverity, Klocware and LDRA are spreading fear because they can detect bugs in code.

    No. The way they market their product/s — often using misleading arguments that create fear of Free software — is what spreads fear.

    Cisco is spreading fear because their Network Management System detects inefficiencies in network utilization.

    If Cisco published entire articles warning that networking with Free software was ineffective (it would be hypocritical of course), you might label it FUD based on the circumstances.

    Solutions like those offered by Protecode, Blackduck, Fossology encourage use of open source.

    It depends on how these are marketed. It is only fair to point out the problems with proprietary software licences too. See for example:

    http://ebb.org/bkuhn/blog/2010/04/07/proprietary-licenses.html

    Open source is wonderful, but the spirit of open source is respecting the rules (licenses) associated with their use.

    Yes, but that is a red herring. I did not state otherwise.

    Sorry….

    Senseless ad hominem attacks disregarded.

    Have a nice day.

  2. Jay Godse said,

    May 19, 2010 at 1:36 am

    Gravatar

    Selling fear is not always a bad thing. That’s why we buy insurance. I think that companies such as Protecode and Black Duck are selling a form of insurance.

    And that insurance seems to be the one that protects you from the “contamination” from open-source software. Now contamination is not the real fear, nor is the cost of fixing the problem. The real fear is litigation. This is a legitimate fear for companies with unhealthy balance sheets. Protecode and Black Duck offer a lot here because their technologies and recommended business process will address the fear. (Companies with healthy balance sheets don’t fear litigation. e.g. RIM’s stock went up after they lost the $4 billion IP lawsuit against NTP).

    There are companies that should be afraid of open-source contamination. The first kind are companies that distribute software applications derived (“derived” in the sense of derivative works in copyright law) from GPL open-source applications, and have a very healthy balance sheet. That is because the open-source folks will go after them to comply with the software licenses (GPL or its close cousins) that they are violating. The second kind of company are (usually VC-backed) startups hoping to be acquired by the first kind of company. If these guys don’t have clean IP, their valuation will take a dive.

    Fortunately for many software companies, these conditions don’t apply. Many software companies run their open-source-derived works in house. No problems with GPL because they don’t distribute applications outside the company. Many other companies host software on servers. They don’t have to worry about GPL either because they are not distributing their hosted open-source-derived applications. Most large companies with healthy balance sheets that distribute software applications either “roll their own” software, or acquire it from software vendors who indemnify them from any IP-related liability; i.e. they don’t have to worry either. Also, companies who build and/or distribute applications derived from open-source software licensed under Apache2.0/MIT/BSD style licenses need not worry because none of them require distribution of the source code of either the original work, or the proprietary derived work.

    However, companies that use open-source software with GPL or GPL-like licenses, and who distribute software, and are appealing targets for lawsuits,
    should worry, because the fear of litigation is real, and a lawsuit could distract the company leadership and hurt operations as a result.

    And in that, Protecode and Black Duck are right.

What Else is New


  1. USPTO Rewards Microsoft for Corruption at ISO by Teaching People Proprietary OOXML and Promoting Its Use

    The world's most important patent office promotes Microsoft lock-in, revealing not only corporate bias but also highlighting ways in which Microsoft crimes continue to pay off



  2. No, Startpage is Not Dutch Anymore

    Startpage is still clinging onto perceptions rather than truths; it means that Startpage isn't just betraying privacy but it's also dishonest and untrustworthy



  3. Understanding Thierry Breton: Chirac's Entrepreneurial “Joker”

    Minister in charge of the public treasury was not a career politician but an “entrepreneur” with a proven track-record as a financial wizard and “cost-killer”



  4. Links 16/11/2019: New Debian Release, Wine staging 4.20

    Links for the day



  5. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 15, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, November 15, 2019



  6. Microsoft Doesn't Love Linux, It Just Buys Linux

    Microsoft's takeover or abduction of its opposition's voice isn't an act of love but an act of occupation, a hostile colonisation that enables digital pillage and plunder



  7. Koch's Reply to EPO Through ILO and Techrights' Interpretation of Koch v EPO Documents Help Show That ILO-AT is Played by EPO Management

    Sending cases back and forth, without the complainant being involved, means that justice is in eternal ‘limbo’ and thus the abusive management of the European Patent Office (EPO) — first Team Battistelli and now Team Campinos — can get away with anything the bullies do (no judgment of substance being delivered)



  8. EPO Running ILO's Tribunal (ILO-AT) 'in a Loop' to Perpetually Delay and Drain the EPO's Complainants (Aggrieved Staff) Out of Money

    ILO’s Administrative Tribunal — a court for aggrieved EPO staff and other international organisations’ staff (usually known as ILO-AT for short) — is a major farce; when “time is money” and lawyers charge as much as 400 euros an hour the EPO’s management can exploit/misuse its cash reserves to also game justice and buy legal outcomes



  9. ILO is Not Functioning and ILO-AT Helps the Abusive Management of the European Patent Office

    It is becoming increasingly clear, based for example on Koch v EPO, that ILO-AT is where a lot of money will be spent on lawyers and rarely will that result in real justice (but it certainly helps EPO management pretend that staff has safeguards)



  10. Links 16/11/2019: Wine 4.20, Picolibc 1.1

    Links for the day



  11. Understanding Thierry Breton: Moral Responsibility for “a Capitalism That Kills”?

    "...France Télécom which had previously been defined by an ethos of public service, by egalitarian working conditions and by a sense of universal mission, had now been transformed into a "cash machine” whose sole purpose was to generate shareholder value on international financial markets."



  12. FOSSPatents Conference is Against FOSS, Promoting the FOSS-Hostile Construct Known as RAND or FRAND

    Do not be misled by the term Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in the name FOSSPatents and whatever relates to it (e.g. FOSSPatents Conference); it's not about FOSS but against FOSS, or pro-FRAND



  13. Europe is Under Attack

    European politicians or political candidates pretend to be 'candid'; but they're agents of Power, or put another way, they're there to make the rich and powerful class even richer and more powerful by passing new, ruinous laws in the name of 'the people' or 'for SMEs'



  14. Links 15/11/2019: New Opera and Brave, GNU/Linux Flatpa(c)ked

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 14, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 14, 2019



  16. Understanding Thierry Breton: Toxic Management Goes on Trial in France

    "In each of these cases, the suicide served as a symbolic act of protest to denounce workplace conditions at France Télécom and attract public attention to its practices."



  17. Thierry Breton's Video/Live Grilling is Over, But the Grilling Continues Online

    Elite politicians aren't reluctant to give Thierry Breton the high seat (or throne); but everyone else realises that this resembles a corporate takeover more than anything



  18. The EPO's Low Patent Quality is Not Just Suicidal; It is Illegal

    With help from the besieged Boards of Appeal (BoAs), which complain that they can no longer judge cases (appeals/referrals) autonomously and independently, the Office in Munich continues to grossly violate the EPC and mimic China's ridiculously low patent bar, which even formally permits patents on algorithms



  19. Links 14/11/2019: Mesa 19.2.4 and GCC 7.5 Released

    Links for the day



  20. Microsoft is Not an Open Source Company But Microsoft Bribed and Took Over Many Open Source Authorities (Rivals' Voice Hijacked)

    Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and GNU/Linux are being taken over by Microsoft moles, bought by Microsoft Corporation, and the collective voice of the alternative to Microsoft and Windows is being muzzled (they tell us they "love" us while they're attacking us and sometimes suing us)



  21. Techrights' Interpretation of Koch v EPO: The EPO's Management Still Attacks Staff Representatives

    The EPO hopes to get its victims (of EPO abuse) to not only foot their own bills but also the EPO's



  22. Understanding Thierry Breton: “Mister Cash” Arrives at France Télécom

    The psychological harassment of the France Télécom workforce led the "suicide wave" after Breton had left France Télécom



  23. The Breton-Battistelli Relationship and Breton Hiding His Employment Record at Rothschild & Cie Banque

    EPO scoundrels such as Battistelli are closer to Breton than most people care to realise; Breton is hiding part of his career ahead of today's grilling



  24. A Lot of EPO Staff on Dutch Land Protested (Despite Abusive Threats From Management) and a Strike is Reportedly Next

    EPO management in Rijswijk tried hard to prevent workers from protesting on their free time (lunch break), reaffirming that same old belief that nothing is changing at the EPO and nothing will change without truly disruptive action



  25. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 13, 2019

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 13, 2019



  26. Links 13/11/2019: Docker Enterprise Bought, WordPress 5.3, Qt 5.12.6 Released

    Links for the day



  27. Rebranding Malware and Spyware as 'Linux' to Dilute the Brand (and the News)

    Signal-to-noise ratio continues to be reduced, as a lot of "Linux" news has nothing to do with GNU/Linux or even with Free software



  28. Understanding Thierry Breton: In the Beginning...

    Career roundup of Thierry Breton, possibly the next EU Commissioner



  29. Startpage Has Been Delisted, But it Ought to be Blacklisted

    Startpage has just warned its fans (I am a former fan) of what Startpage itself covertly became months back



  30. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 12, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 12, 2019


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts