Bonum Certa Men Certa

Marten Mickos: Nothing Can Stop the Open Source Movement Anymore

MySQL represents a group of Free Open Source projects which thrive in a truly support-based business model. Their IPO is apparently approaching.

Investor says maker of crucial Web 2.0 component has reached the stage when the world expects it to list.


The more interesting article, however, involves the CEO of MySQL. He was more vocal than most when Microsoft made its unsubstantiated IP claims. Not only has his company endorsed GPLv3 (not an embrace yet), but he also warned Microsoft. He continues to defend this courageous stance and with an apathetic tone he adds:

"Microsoft can use [its] money in other ways to threaten free and open-source software, and I'm sure that they have," Mickos said. "But I think we will see less of that in the future because they've done it and it hasn't helped them." Many Microsoft customers use open-source products and find it challenging when the company makes it harder to integrate Microsoft products and open-source software, he said.

"I'm not too worried," Mickos said. "This open source movement is so strong that nothing can stop it anymore."


Microsoft's FUD has almost been muted recently, but maybe it's the effect of summertime when people go on vacation. Microsoft did not skip the opportunity to betray two Linux companies. The GNU GPL is an important factor here. It changes the rules. Not only does it get endorsed, but it gets embraced as well. Latest addition: the GNU Compiler Collection.

Version 4.2.1 of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) has been released. "GCC 4.2.1 will be the last release of GCC covered by version 2 of the GNU General Public License. All future releases will be released under GPL version 3," it says in the announcement. The recently published GPLv3 is not compatible with GPLv2.


Here is another company that has just chosen the GPL. It seems as though companies flock in this direction every day.

ITema, Inc. today released Blackbird, its PHP enterprise service bus (ESB), to the Open Source community under the GNU General Public License (GPL).


Even publications that are rarely favourable to Open Source seem to be receptive when it comes to the new licence.

The latest version of the General Public License, released last month by the Free Software Foundation (FSF), has something to please or displease just about everyone. But agencies and their contractors should be happy with an exception carved out for them that will make it easier to keep sensitive federal software code under wraps.


Here is what the FSF had to say in a new short interview.

"Overall reaction has been very positive -- except from Microsoft. Everyone has had pretty good things to say about it," FSF's Smith noted. "For example, lawyers who work with free software issues, executives at some of the larger companies that work with free software in various capacities, like IBM and Red Hat, have all said very positive things about GPLv3, so that's very encouraging."


It appears as though there's a phase of acceptance now. Companies learn to live with the new licence, Microsoft runs away from it, and the future seems software patent-proof.

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