11.01.10

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Good News, Bad News From OpenLogic

Posted in Apple, FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 9:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bad moon rising

Summary: News items that advertise OpenLogic’s products continue to create an elevated FOSS licence scare

THIS post is an assessment of OpenLogic’s business model and strategy, which usually starts with marketing that’s disguised as a ‘study’. OpenLogic ‘studies’ are to Microsoft FUD what Novell’s Moonlight is to Silverlight. They may try to provide help to Free software users/developers (arguably good intentions), but what they actually do is provide the likes of Microsoft with ammunition (FUD) against Free software. OpenLogic — like Novell — also sells services or products around that FUD, so it’s not so well intentioned, it is also selfish.

To quote the new article (there are quite a few typos in there):

According to a study from OpenLogic, a software services vendor, licensing for open source are used widely in app store apps for mobiles.

OpenLogic is (or was) headed by a former Microsoft employee. We have already been sceptical about it, especially after OpenLogic signed a census agreement/partnership with Microsoft. Watch how the blog post ends, offering ‘medicine’ for the problem they present: “A product that assists in ensuring compliance for open source is OpenLogic’s OLEX App Store edition.” Then they refer to a ‘plug’ as a form of seemingly-independent authority: “This new solution aids a company to manage its open source policies and use, reports developer.com”

There are other companies that use the same business model. To use an analogy that’s a template, company X presents problem Y, for which it offers its solution, Z, which was recommended by some third party which is not X. This is done in the area of medicine quite extensively and we explained this a year ago.

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2 Comments

  1. Kim Weins said,

    November 3, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Gravatar

    Roy, Thanks for your thoughtful post. We do understand the viewpoint that talking about open source compliance issues could provide FUD for those that are not friendly to open source. The information from our research, showing the widespread use of open source in mobile apps, is good for open source. At OpenLogic, we believe that by providing some sunlight on the issue of compliance from within the open source community, we can counteract that FUD.

    As you point out, OpenLogic does benefit if companies choose to use our scanning tools and other solutions to address open source compliance, but we also understand that companies can also choose to address this issue with internal tools and processes. We also provide an open source scanning tool that can help companies that want to take a DIY approach.

    Although we may not always share the same perspective, we do believe in a healthy and open debate on these topics, so keep it coming :-)

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Thanks for the understanding, Kim. Some people whom I speak to are more hostile towards the likes of Palamida or OpenLogic (they even add tags that I disagree with to the Wiki), even if the compliance tools are Free/libre. Then there’s SFLC with Bradley’s rants. I think that at the end it’s the wording that counts, GPL compliance when one is found violating is never a public relations success. It would be best if everyone just complied.

    Protecode has produced some fairly hostile pieces, OpenLogic is usually more thoughtful. I’ll try to discuss this on Monday’s audiocast.

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