Linked by snydeq on Sat 10th Mar 2012 20:29 UTC
Linux The open source community should feel a little safer from software patent attacks, writes InfoWorld's Simon Phipps. "The Open Invention Network, a consortium of Linux contributors formed as a self-defense against software patents, has extended the definition of Linux so that a whopping 700 new software packages are covered, including many developer favorites. Just one hitch: The new definition also includes carve-outs that put all Linux developers on notice that Phillips and Sony reserve the right to sue over virtualization, search, user interfaces, and more."
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RE[3]: How sincere
by lemur2 on Mon 12th Mar 2012 22:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: How sincere"
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"Mostly is just a small section that is FLOSS friendly, while the rest thinks on the shareholders benefits.

May I remind you that the goal of a company is to make "profit". So yes, everybody in the company should be concerned with the shareholders benefits, that is their jobs. Even the FLOSS friendly people should be mostly concerned with the shareholders benefits. And if there is a way to make profits by being FLOSS friendly, I am sure shareholders and companies will be very open to the idea.

The truth is that making money with FLOSS is very difficult, it is mostly consulting companies that manages to make a profit out of it, or companies that use dual licensing (GPL+Commercial for instance), but then it gets closer to the "free for non-commercial use" model.

So yes, most companies prefer to see FLOSS as a way to save cost on non-strategic components (like the kernel of the os) while keeping a firm grip on what differentiate them from the competitions (just try to imagine how much profit Apple would have made if they had opened source iOS).

The vast majority of companies do not sell software. For them, software is purely a cost.

So it transpires that most companies prefer to see FLOSS as a way to save cost on software, period.

In fact, for companies whose primary business is not selling software, collaborating with other companies on open source projects is an excellent opportunity to reduce cost, and therefore increase profit and hence shareholder value.

Here is just one example:

Toyota's goal is indeed to make a profit ... on the sale of its cars. Software is a component within Toyota's cars, and therefore a cost of production. Toyota's profit is enhanced if the use of FOSS licenses and development practices can reduce the cost of software components of Toyota's products.

There are many, many more companies in Toyota's position (regarding the costs and profit opportunities of software development) than there are companies in a position similar to Microsoft, Apple and IBM.

Edited 2012-03-12 22:19 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3