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Links 1 through 10 of 13 by Simon Phipps tagged Scorecard

This is a useful part of the discussion, apart from the title. Since it describes a situation which has existed for many years, it doesn't justify intervention anywhere, but as a community of communities we neet to take its lessons on board and steer away from the problem over the coming years. Can I say "scorecard" again?

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He's right, but the solution is more complex than I think he's suggesting. We need to be able to acknowledge open source engagement without endorsing the resulting product activity unreservedly. Companies who are firm friends of open source have been abusing the term for years and have been allowed to do so becuase of the value of their contribution and because of their percieved lack of hostility to FOSS. Firm friends who are more honest have also been condemned, in my view often unjustly. The problem arises from having a binary view of software freedom ("you're either for it or against it") and failing to differentiate the needs of the community from the needs of the participant. I think 2010 needs to be the year of the software freedom scorecard. But then, you knew that.

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Repeat after me: open source means more than just the license. We need a scorecard. (And before you say, I am well aware of Sun's shortcomings, I am still working on them).

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"Europeans and North Americans come at the commerce of FOSS differently, Europeans want to make a business from free software while not loosing its fundamental ethos while North Americans want to maximize the business exploitation of open source software and keep its nature, if it benefits them." -- Another analysis might be that the American approach sees open source as a "natural resource to be exploited" whereas the European approach sees software freedom as a resource to be cultivated in order to yield opportunity.

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"According to Matt, we should be thanking IBM for doing this: to my mind, IBM should be thanking the community for the contribution that has enabled it to recoup its investment so quickly" - reinforcing the point that every participant in an open source community is there out of self-interest of some kind, and that's not a bad thing.

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"For those who are trying to run an open source business, it is clear that pragmatism, rather than puritanical beliefs, is key to business growth." -- Yes, but sometimes there is a spark in those "puritanical beliefs" that embodies truth that should not be wantonly discarded just becuase a Puritan is involved. (The appallingly-named Gartner piece linked from this article is worth reading by the way.)

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Bradley Kuhn's analysis reflects the same conclusions I've reached myself about corporate-aggregated copyright. That's not to say it automatically disqualifies a project as non-Free, but it's the reason I included "diverse copyright ownership" as a criterion on the proposed open source scorecard. As a side-note, Given Bradley's critique of the GPL as "just a tool", surely it's time to see that open source is not the enemy of software freedom and to finally cut the antagonistic rhetoric.

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A case study in why we need a clearer universal scorecard for businesses to document their open source credentials.

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While Matt's point has a certain populist charm, I don't agree with him that software freedom has no place on the business agenda. The key values businesses look for in open source - being able to use it for anything, having access to skills in an open market, being able to innovate without restriction, being able to share the results with customers, suppliers, government and citizens - all flow from software freedom. Having meaningful markers for governments and larger businesses can use in their procurement to favour open source - the software that lowers costs, avoids lock-in and enables unexpected future uses of data and software - is not a matter of angels on pinheads or out-of-touch insiderism. It's exactly what the governments I've been visiting this year are asking for.

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Good article by John Mark Walker. I tire of this debate too, but the "open core" noise was getting too loud to ignore any more and OSI wasn't doing anything about it. The populist claims by other voices that ethics plays no part in business decisions are wide of the mark. As I wrote in an earlier blog, I believe that software freedom delivers business benefit. Many businesses have used an ethics-based definition - the OSD - as a genetic marker for software that delivers business value. I believe that too many suppliers have learned to game that definition (among them some of the voices denouncing me).

Simple policies predicated just on the license no longer deliver and the cost of due diligence for open source solutions to ensure business value is rising. My call for new definitions is a call to repeat the success of the OSD in creating a business value flag from software freedom ethics. A call for transparency, not religion.

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