It is 2021 and there is still a lot of fighting about “freedom” in open source software development. Here is an analytical breakdown of the issues.
Freedom can refer to people or artifacts (source code). When it refers to people, it is typically freedom of choice regarding what to do. There are three main roles in open source: The original programmer, an intermediary (another programmer or a software vendor), and the users or customers of the vendor. I’m simplifying, but this matches the distribution use-case in which license clauses put the most obligations on people.
In this talk, I explain the significance of the software industry for a country’s economy and how to strengthen it using open source. It is directed at public policy makers and the general public. This is the slide deck of a previously posted video.
In this short video, I explain the significance of the software industry for a country’s economy and how to strengthen it using open source. It is directed at public policy makers and the general public.
In diesem kurzen Video erkläre ich die Bedeutung der Softwareindustrie für die Wirtschaft eines Landes und wie Open-Source-Software diese stärken kann. Es richtet sich an Public-Policy-Maker und alle interessierten Personen.
Die englische Version dieses Videos folgt; die Folien wurden vom FAU Sprachdienst aus dem Englischen ins Deutsche übersetzt (und von mir nachkorrigiert).
It is no secret that software is everywhere. No traditional product has remained untouched, whether the product is being produced using software or whether software is an integral part of it. As part of this wave of digitization, established vendors from outside the software industry need to avoid that someone else will reap all the profits from their products. That someone else would be software companies that supply needed components. In particular software platforms can have such network effects that their providers can reach a monopoly position so that dependent vendors who need the platform will face a diminishing profit margin.
Today, at FOSSC 2019 in Muscat, Oman, I gave a talk about the benefits of sponsoring open source software development to about anyone who isn’t the software vendor whose product is getting replaced by that open source software. These are the slides. I will be repeating the same message at the German Forschungsgipfel in March. Also, here is a slideshare version:
Ich werde am 18.11. in Berlin auf dem 2. offenen IT-Gipfel mit einem Vortrag zu Open Source vertreten sein. Sie sind herzlich eingeladen, die Teilnahme ist kostenlos. Mehr Information zur Veranstaltung.
I’m on the expert advisory committee of one of the German parties for the current “Internet Enquette”, a commission tasked by the German parliament with suggesting future directions for Germany’s stance toward the Internet and everything digital. At a meeting this evening, a lobbyist confided in me: “Open source is bad for German software vendors!” I gasped. He couldn’t be further from the truth. If this was mechanical engineering or electrical engineering, he’d be right. ME? EE? Germany is top. Software? Not so. Beyond a few selected highlights, Germany is an also-ran internationally. When it comes to software product businesses, German companies would benefit significantly if the dice would be rolled again. Anything that upsets the current order can only be an improvement over the current state of affairs. Open source does just that. More power to open source business models!