Chris Lyman's Rules for Open Source
Chris Lyman is the CEO of Culver City, CA based Fonality, a company that has built a commercial VoIP PBX product for small businesses on top of Digium's open source Asterisk.
Chris gets my applause as the best (and most humble!) speaker at VON today. He did an excellent job sketching out why there is a difference between open source and free software. Here are my notes from his presentation:
Chris Lyman, CEO & Founder, Fonality
Four points to make about open source:
(1) You can be open but you can’t be free
- There is a difference between open source movement and free software movement
- Free Software Foundation (FSF) impetus is ethical and not economic
“Anyone purchasing one of these [commercial] licenses and distributing non-free software is doing something wrong"
- FSF believes in copylefting practices
- FSF believes in integration vs. innovation
“You are not going to get ahead in the free software community by competing on features…”(2) Open source = open your wallet
- Open source is thinly-veiled capitalism
- Dual-license model = proprietary model
- Investors now believe in open source
- Open source vendors may see things differently than their communities
(3) Open source ‘aint no love child!
- Open source is a reaction to Microsoft
"A logical business tool to compete – “the original impetus for mozilla.org was… strategic. Fighting a ‘conventional war’ with Microsoft over browsers became increasingly challenging.” – Bob Lisbonne, former SVP and GM of browser products for netscape
- High prices, bugs, interconnectivity are drivers
- Open source is about business, not freedom
(4) When being open, wear protection!
- Understand the nature of “derivative work