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Protecode is FUD and It's Proprietary

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).

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