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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Open-Source Movement Turns 10

The past decade has been marked by enormous achievements and some serious
setbacks, says Bruce Perens, co-founder of the Open Source Initiative.
This weekend marks the 10th anniversary of the publication of the "Open
Source Definition" and the public announcement of the formation of the
Open Source Initiative. The decade has been marked both by enormous
achievements and serious setbacks. "This was the first time that the
general public heard what open source was about. Friday, February 8 is
the last day of Decade Zero of open source, while Saturday, February 9
is the anniversary of open source and the start of Decade One. It's a
computer scientist thing. We always start counting from zero," said
Bruce Perens, creator of the Open Source Definition and co-founder of
the Open Source Initiative. While acknowledging the trailblazing role
of Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, Perens
also acknowledged the conflict that has existed between open-source and
free-software evangelism. "I always intended to have open source be
another way of talking about free software, tailored to the ears of
business people, that would eventually lead them to a greater
appreciation of Richard Stallman's arguments on that front. This has
come to pass, and I hope you'll continue to make it so," Perens said
in a blog posting. From the blog: "We have actually changed the way
that innovation happens. Innovation has gone public. Many companies,
institutions, and individuals share innovation on a daily basis,
entirely in the open, through Free Software development communities.
The products they produce are the leaders in their field. Public
innovation eliminates the high transaction costs of lawyers, lawsuits
and licensing. It focuses on building a fertile community across the
market for idea creation and utilization rather than dividing the
market for the direct monetization of ideas as property. This is the
economically most efficient approach for most companies."

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