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An unexpected perf feature
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
PostgreSQL 9.3 beta: Federated databases and more
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 9, 2013
Of course! The *WHOLE POINT* of free software is to prevent anyone getting a competitive advantage in software features!
That's because a competitive advantage requires secret and unmodifiable source code, which forces everyone else to reinvent the wheel.
Obviously it may mean less incentive to innovate, but handling the tradeoff this way is again the core purpose of free software!
Given his opinion, I'd strongly recommend to NEVER assign any copyright to Canonical or Shuttleworth for any reason, unless getting significant compensation in return.
Desktop Summit: Copyright assignments
Posted Aug 21, 2011 13:51 UTC (Sun) by cas (subscriber, #52554)
What benefit is there to me, as a user, or as a free software developer for some other entity (whether a human individual, company, corporation, foundation, etc) to have a "competitive advantage" in some aspect of the software I use?
If i'm not a user of that entity's particular release of the software, I don't benefit at all. In fact, I'm disadvantaged because a) I don't have the "competitive" feature, and (worse) b) I have to suffer the resulting twisty little maze of forks, all slightly different.
If I am a user of that particular release, then I get the benefit of the feature but have a) put myself at risk of vendor lock-in, and b) also suffer from the twisty maze of forks.
So, where's the benefit to me? or to any other user or developer?
None that I can see. None at all.
AFAICT, "competitive advantage" is not only incompatible with Free Software / Open Source, it is the antithesis of it.
Posted Aug 22, 2011 11:29 UTC (Mon) by frabcus (guest, #25169)
In the MySQL AB case they tended to make money from selling licenses for using the database inside proprietary software. This strikes me as a smart compromise. It's something that had it been BSD licensed would have happened anyway, but MySQL AB got money for it that they could pump into improving the MySQL fully open source software for everyone.
Of course, now Oracle own it. But we are no worse off because of that than if MySQL AB hadn't retained ownership - we can just ignore Oracle's ownership, fork it, and turn it into a more standard project with multiple copyright ownership.
I don't think *every* piece of open source software needs this business model, but there are some projects which do benefit from copyright assignment in this way. Diversity is good!
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