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Season of Disinformation About FOSS, Courtesy of ‘Compliance’ Firms

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD at 5:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Proprietary but pretending to be pro-FOSS


Summary: Tech City News, Black Duck, and Protecode (in SD Times) show their hostility towards the principles of code-sharing

EVERY ONCE in a while we see articles which are exceptionally hostile towards Free software in the sense that they compare it to a disease. They use words like “contaminate” and “infect”. Here is a new article of this kind. This is the type of FUD that companies like Black Duck, whose latest voice hijack we mentioned twice this month alone, habitually spread. They monetise it. There is more of them in the press and pundits like Mac Asay [1] help them get their message out. Well, they are trying to change perceptions and set trends. Asay is close to them because they helped sponsor events that he was organising. But they are not to be viewed as FOSS proponents. They are a proprietary software company with software patents; they only pretend to care about FOSS and they pretend to be spokespeople for FOSS. Their founder is a marketing man from Microsoft.

Similarly, some proprietary software company called Protecode (with a similar business model) pushes similar messages, having been given a platform at SD Times which is sometimes composed by patent lawyers (and is funded in part by Microsoft). The article then led to more from Adrian Bridgwater.

What we generally have here is a bunch of proprietary players (some with clear connections to Microsoft) talking about how complying with FOSS is risky. They never mention the risk of proprietary software licences that ‘expire’ and can lead to expensive litigation if not obeyed. The only surprising thing is that they continue to receive press space.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. The Reasons Businesses Use Open Source Are Changing Faster Than You Realize
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