Monday, February 27, 2006

Does Oracle Understand What It's Buying?

Does Oracle Understand What It's Buying?: "You can't really buy an Open Source project. The GPL was designed to make it possible for any Open Source participant to circumvent any other party who gets in the way. Other Open Source licenses are similar. Larry Ellison can buy business and influence over an Open Source project, but if he tries to have absolute control, Open Source developers will code elsewhere, replace whatever Larry holds close, and create new businesses."

Interesting insights from Bruce Perens of Sourcelabs; read the full post.

I've been thinking a lot about open source market dynamics recently, and am rereading Neal Stephenson's (imho) classic In the Beginning was the Command Line (also available in paperback). While open source software is a fascinating phenomenon and has transformed the software business in many significant ways, I think Oracle does indeed understand what it's buying. This doesn't mean Oracle will be completely successful, but I don't think the company is being naive or woefully optimistic -- attributes which some would assign to MySQL AB.

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