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August 10, 2004

Social Movement Versus The Litigation Machine

Every significant social movement invariably shakes the existing power hierarchy. When the hubs of influence are shifting as its happening in the world of Open Source there are few winners (customers for example) and lots of losers (it's not just the software vendors who are losing, list goes far and wide in the ecosystem. Keep an eye on the analyst community).

After my discussions at the LinuxWorld I have been gathering all the FUDs thrown around Linux and Open Source movement in general.

Microsoft settling their legal troubles, thus preparing ground for the oncoming patent fights ?
HP caught on the legal tightrope - whether to play Linux game or cater to the lucrative Hollywood market
IBM promising not to enforce their patent rights
OSRM claims Linux infringes on 208 patents (see you can build a reasonable business out of FUD. Thus confirming the fact that Open Source might be the next most lucrative area for the lawyers)
Bay Capital urging SCO to become litigation machine
Interpretation dilemma
How DMCA complicates the matter
Good overview here.

So next time when somebody asks you where is the money in Open Source , point that uninformed person to this link. FSF charging $875 for two day course on understanding the pits and black holes of GPL. If you do the numbers -

Number of enterprises
Number of IT Managers and decision makers
Number of educational and government agencies
Mandatory cross-sell and up-sells

and multiply that number by $875 and despite discounting it by 50% chances are you will be walking happily to the bank. Moral of the story - stay close to litigation machine and you will know your way to the bank.

August 10, 2004 in Open source | Permalink


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