Open Source's New Frontiers (Business Week)
Posted Feb 7, 2006 16:54 UTC (Tue) by sepreece
Parent article: Open Source's New Frontiers (Business Week)
The Moglen quote is pretty fatuous, since there are far more small, cheap consumer devices today built with non-free software than with free. In fact, using Linux in cheap devices today typically costs more, in extra hardware costs (notably memory and processors with MMUs), than the saving in license costs for a proprietary OS.
I certainly would not want to play down the value of Linux to the consumer electronics industry. More important than the low cost is the availability of other software, built to run on top of it. However, consumer device makers often BUY that additional software, under secondary licensing, rather than using GPLed versions, just as they often buy Linux through a specialized distributor rather than adapting to their hardware it themselves.
The terms in the GPLv3 draft that restrict device makers' ability to lock their devices to certain software are likely to reduce consensus about licensing in the OSS community. Device makers will continue to deal with software providers who are willing to dual license and there will be more forked projects, because device makers have no obvious incentive to open their devices - the vast bulk of their market have no interest in extensibility and the risks involved are substantial (liability and support issues for altered software are the tip of the iceberg).
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