Trying to create news where there isn't any, HP's Linux executive Martin Fink took up one of his pet projects: the proliferation of open source licences.
Fink previously has urged the OSI to tackle the abundance of open source licences. The OSI does the certification of licences, giving them the official label of being 'open source'.
The OSI has responded and is working on a solution.
But whatever happens, existing licences will remain to be used unless the owner decides to retract it. That is easier said then done. Once software developers have started making contributions to an open source project, the owner of the project requires their permission before he can change the licence that governs the project.
Intel earlier this year did exactly that: abandon its open source licence. That wasn't a big deal however - apparently it wasn't being used for any software.
Out to score some easy PR points, Fink today in his keynote at Linuxworld in San Francisco called upon IBM and Sun Microsystems to abandon their open source licences.
"I'm asking IBM to follow Intel's lead to deprecate the IBM open source licence," Fink told delegates at the event. The audience hardly responded, until he said that: " I also want to ask Scott Mcnealy and Jonathah Schwarz to deprecate the CDDL and release Solaris under the GPL."
Sun has gone through enough in defending its OSI approved CDDL. The vendor is unlikely to now turn around and say: "Why of course, now that you ask politely." Especially because the company feels that the GPL doesn't work.
IBM is in a similar situation, and has even more projects that are governed by their open source licence.
Surely it would be nice if these parties all gathered behind a single licence - but if that happens it won't be under the GPL (more about that tomorrow by the way).
Fink might have scored points in the popularity contest with the hard core, GPL loving part of the open source community. But his realism radar needs calibration.
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