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. Sword Group Violates Its Own Commitment by Working for the EPO

    The European Patent Office (EPO) keeps outsourcing its work to outside contractors (for-profit private entities) to the tune of hundreds of millions if not billions — all this without any oversight



  2. In 2020 Canonical No Longer Fights for Freedom

    Freedom requires a GNU/Linux distro other than Ubuntu, which seems unwilling or unable/incapable of speaking about and promoting the ideals of GNU/Linux



  3. We Need to Use the F Word (Freedom) to Promote Adoption of GNU/Linux

    "People get the government their behavior deserves. People deserve better than that." -Richard Stallman



  4. People Who Want to Explore GNU/Linux With Ubuntu See This Today

    "Wait, am I in a GNU/Linux blog or another Windows blog," a visitor might think... or, is Microsoft 'taking over' messaging at Canonical? (Same with code)



  5. Links 4/6/2020: Septor 2020.3, Nextcloud and Blender 2.83

    Links for the day



  6. Hey, Where's Red Hat (IBM)?

    Red Hat is conspicuously silent at these critical times (in its home country); Must be too busy hailing and cashing in on Trump's military (state) while dishing out shallow and self-contradictory diversity PR/fluff…



  7. Microsoft's Latest Vapourware About Supercomputers

    Microsoft has spent almost two decades dropping supercomputers vapourware on the media, but those misinformation dumps always turn out to be 100% hot air, no substance



  8. 2020: A Time for Resolutions or Revolutions?

    There are nonviolent means by which the current system can be corrected; we need to convince peers and relatives to change the way they behave and not cooperate with unjust elements of the system



  9. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, June 02, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, June 02, 2020



  10. The Gates Press (GatesGate) -- Part I: Lost the Job After Writing an Article Critical of Bill Gates for Attacking Some Actual, Legitimate Charities (Because They Had Spread GNU/Linux)

    The sociopaths from the fake 'charity' of Bill Gates would go to great lengths to squash criticism and also to eliminate critics; this series tells the story of some of those personally affected



  11. Don't Fall for the Spin, Microsoft is Laying Off Workers and It's Not Just Because of the Pandemic





  12. All They Want is Litigation, Not Innovation

    It's getting difficult to ignore or to overlook the fact that the 'litigation lobby' (the likes of Team UPC and today's EPO management, guided by groups like the Licensing Executives Society International) doesn't care about innovation and is in fact looking to profit by crushing innovation



  13. Reminder: Microsoft Profits From Crushing Protesters for Donald Trump

    Don't lose sight of the fact that what's going on in the United States right now is very profitable to Microsoft



  14. No, GNU/Linux Isn't at 3% and Windows Isn't at Over 90%, Either

    This ludicrous idea that "Linux" (however one defines it) enjoys just 3% of the "market" is false and it should be treated as laughable spin (it is being widely promoted this week, often by Microsoft boosters looking to make charts where Windows stays at above 90% and Vista 10 is 'gaining'... at the expense of Windows)



  15. Links 3/6/2020: Devuan Beowulf 3.0.0 and Tails 4.7 Released

    Links for the day



  16. Links 2/6/2020: New Firefox Release (77), Debian-based MX Linux 19.2, KDevelop 5.5.2, GNU/Linux Growth on Desktops/Laptops

    Links for the day



  17. Techrights Can Figure Out Source Protection/Anonymisation Whilst Operating Very Transparently

    We're still quite radically transparent whilst at the same time enjoying 100% source protection record; we're also improving the software we use to publish more quickly and efficiently



  18. IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 01, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, June 01, 2020



  19. This is How GNU Finally Dies

    "Brace for when GNU falls the way that OSI, FSF, FSFE, Mozilla, and the Linux Foundation did."



  20. Latest Microsoft Layoffs Spun as 'Innovation' (There's Always a Positive PR Angle)

    The public is expected to simply ignore the fact that Microsoft is laying off employees (again); instead we're expected to think it's all about Microsoft being very brilliant and innovative



  21. Microsoft Playing the Victim, Irrationally 'Hated' by Victims of Its Abuse

    We're meant to believe that those whom Microsoft bribes against are the opinionated 'haters' and Microsoft is a victim of 'hate'



  22. Links 1/6/2020: Linux 5.7, FOSSlife Born, LibreOffice 7.0 Beta1, Linux Mint 20 Making Early Promises

    Links for the day



  23. Linux Without Linus

    The Linux Foundation seems to be acting like Linus (Linux founder) is somewhat of a liability (forcing him to take a ‘break’ from his own project) while taking even the most notorious proposals from corporations, including those that called Linux a “cancer”



  24. What It Would Take for Linus Torvalds to Leave Linux Foundation Without the Linux Trademark and Without Linux

    It's nice to think that the founder of Linux can just take his project and walk away, moving elsewhere, i.e. away from the Microsoft-employed executives who now "boss" him; but it's not that simple anymore



  25. The Past Does Not Go Away, Except From Short-Term Memories

    People who are drunk on power and money (sometimes not even their own money) like to portray themselves as the very opposite of what they are; but in the age of the Internet it's difficult to make the general public simply forget the past and "move on..."



  26. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 31, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 31, 2020



  27. Links 1/6/2020: OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 2020.05, Linux Lite 5.0 Release, FreeBSD 11.4 RC2

    Links for the day



  28. It's a Common Mistake and Common Misconception/Error to Treat Microsoft as Just Another 'Large Company' (or 'Big Tech')

    What's wrong about Microsoft isn't its size; what's wrong with Microsoft is its behaviour, which isn't just illegal (crimes are the norm) but also hugely unethical



  29. Lessons of Michael Arrington (About Microsoft)

    Microsoft and Bill Gates have a long history bullying their critics; the quote above (or below) shows how even people who advertise with Microsoft are becoming the target of abuse



  30. 'Best' of Both Worlds: GNU/Linux Freedom + Malware With Keyloggers and DRM

    Running a Microsoft-controlled GNU/Linux instance under Vista 10 ("Windows Subsystem for Linux") in the age of virtual machines, dual boot and containers makes as much sense as chopping some carrots to go with the veal meal to appease vegetarian diners


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