Cries for help go out as open source mogul's radar breaks

A man in crisis

O'Reilly may have missed Falkvinge's speech, but he did find time to blog about Microsoft's decision to submit a pair of software licenses for Open Source Initiative (OSI) approval.

"This is a huge, long-awaited move," Chairman Tim wrote. "It will be earthshaking for both Microsoft and for the open source community if the licenses are in fact certified as open source licenses.

"Microsoft has been releasing a lot of software as shared source . . . If this is suddenly certified as true open source software, it will be a lot harder to draw a bright line between Microsoft and the open source community."

Er, really? Will it be so hard? Of course not.

Enter open source CMS maker Alfresco's Matt Asay.

(Tim) calls this 'huge, long-awaited,...and earthshaking.' It's actually none of the above, but it is welcome.

It will do little to blur the 'bright line between Microsoft and the open-source community,' as Tim suggests it will. That bright line is increasingly drawn by Microsoft, and not by the community. This will not erase patent FUD, for example, from the collective consciousness. But I suppose it does help Microsoft to start acting like a full participant, rather than an outsider.

The real news in this is that Microsoft recognizes what many "open source" companies apparently do not. Namely, that while others have groused about the OSI being out of touch with their efforts to dilute the value of "open source," Microsoft clearly understands the importance of the OSI.

But who has time for real news when there are OSCON Diamond Sponsors to feed? You'll note the Microsoft post was the only one Tim produced during the conference.

That's right. O'Reilly failed to push out a single word when SugarCRM revealed that it would put its flagship software under GPLv3.

Moglen found some time to document the move in an Op-Ed for BusinessWeek.

"A momentous event occurred in the history of software this week - though some may have been too consumed with the stock market malaise or hand-wringing over Apple's iPhone sales to notice," Moglen wrote.

"SugarCRM said it is adopting version 3 of the GNU General Public License (known throughout the global IT industry as GPLv3) as the copyright license for its flagship customer-relationship management software. It's a crucial endorsement of the first update in 16 years of what has become the charter of the free software movement, and SugarCRM is to be applauded."

The editorial goes on to emphasize that SugarCRM's adoption of GPLv3 cuts through all of the anti-business arguments surrounding the new license from certain quarters.

But we'll not waste our time pretending to be as eloquent as Moglen. Read the piece for yourself . . . Tim. ®

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