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Can good governance clash with business interests?

chs's picture
Today I would like to mention an issue that is somewhat of a taboo inside the Free and Open Source world. There is a categoy of software that is developed, released and distributed in full compliance with the license (GPL, Apache, BSD, etc.) but that ends up locking in its users because of poor or absence of documentation and complete lack of access to software information. This adherence to software is thus not the apanage of proprietary software. Yet, sometimes some software that are released under a FOSS license are just as bad as proprietary software.  This issue can be addressed in two ways. 

What to do about open source license violations

stormy's picture

FSF Europe has come out with a good report on what to do about open source license violations. They cover:

  • how to report a license violation,
  • how to respond to a license violation notice,
  • and how to avoid license violations.

Their advice for reporting a violation is very specific and detailed - worth reading. They cover things from what information you want to include in the report to where to send it.

The information on how to avoid license violations is not as detailed - it basically says to read the license and get help from experts. If you are interested in avoiding licenses, you'd be better off reading information on open source compliance programs.

Packaging FOSS for Consumption

andrew's picture

As we work to clear the obstacles to enterprise adoption of FOSS, we tend to focus our efforts on aspects such as support, licensing, and surfacing the economic and other wider benefits. However, it is becoming clear that this alone is not always enough, and that there are still pieces of the jigsaw missing...

Proprietary software benefits from an advertising budget, and teams of people whose sole purpose is to communicate the benefits of the technology to potential customers, and along with this how it will fit into their enterprise. Now, it must be said that I'm no fan of advertising, I like to consider myself largely immune to it and I believe that it will increasingly become of less importance. However, when you assume the position of a "customer" - in particular a non-technical one - and compare the proprietary software and FOSS landscapes, the latter can appear much more confusing, and whilst if you buy into advertising, dare I say also, amateur.

COSS joins FOSSBazaar

smoinen's picture

The Finnish Centre for Open Source Solutions (COSS) has joined the FOSSBazaar community as an associate partner in October 2008. It's about time to tell shortly about COSS and our activities and how things are going in Finland.

COSS was founded in 2003 as a national development agency for open source business ecosystem in Finland. It is coordinated by Technology Centre Hermia, which operates also other networks like Sombiz (Social Media Business Network) and Neogames (Finnish National Centre of Game Business, Research and Education).

Case stories of good and bad community interaction

tbm's picture

It is often argued that companies have to work with the FOSS community and there are good reasons for doing so. I've tried to collect a number of case stories of good and bad community interaction that may help as a starting point for further exploration of this topic: