Interoperability and Competition

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2005-11-01 Print this article Print

The two biggest games in global IT at the moment are securing interoperability and securing a competitive market for services so that these come from different places and can be made to compete on price. "And both interoperability and an open market in services require free software in our sense. Otherwise lock-in will come, standards will become encrusted with proprietary extensions, and applications built on these will become proprietary and you will no longer be able to get the best service at the most aggressive price," he said.
Diane Peters, the general counsel for the Open Source Development Labs, said that while she expected Moglen to provide the details around the revision of the GPL, the mechanics and time frame for this, her comments would focus on why it is critically important for those who care about the success of free and open-source software to constructively participate in the process and be committed to making it successful.
"In addition, I will speak to the risks associated with not supporting the process, and the remarkable opportunity it will provide for those who participate and dedicate themselves to its success," she said. Asked what she expected and wanted to see in GPL version 3, Peters said that from OSDLs perspective, there are two different aspects to the revisions. The first relates to substantive changes in the rights and obligations that will be modified. "As we all know, the growth and success of open source from a technological and business-model perspective has grown at a race and pace that could not have been anticipated when GPL 2.0 was first adopted," she said. "I anticipate those areas as being the ones in which many of the changes will be focused, and debate will ensure around issues such as Web services, trusted computing, source code distribution requirements, and patent termination provisions," Peters said. The other aspect that is equally important is clarifying language defining the rights and obligations that are not changing substantively, so as to eliminate ambiguities that result in uncertainty for businesses and developers. "The challenge will be balancing the need for clarification with the FSFs stated objective of preserving the license as the literary work of [GPL creator] Richard Stallman," she said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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