Software users must fight for the right to modify and redistribute open code and its resulting products in light of recent vendor squabbling, analyst firm Gartner warned today.
Gartner analysts Brian Prentice and Mark Driver said in a research note that some members of the open source community were concerned about the role that vendors play in supplying and supporting the software.
"Vendors increasingly want to tweak the meaning of open source to include, for example, attribution licensing which says the user can modify and redistribute the software, and make derivative versions based on it, only if they give the author credit," said Prentice.
"But 'open source' is simply a licensing agreement that allows unfettered modification and redistribution of software code. In fact, it is a key sign of a healthy open source community and a key benefit to users."
According to the analyst firm, the current debate among open source vendors is about reconciling an inherent incompatibility.
"The incompatibility is not with the commercialisation of open source software, but between open source and traditional industry business models designed to achieve single-vendor dominance of products or technical standards, " said Prentice.
Gartner warned open source software users that the uncertainty around vendors' claims will make sourcing and architectural decisions for open source software more difficult.
Users must therefore demand a strict definition of open source linked to the modification and redistribution of code and products, which are "significant benefits" of the open source model.
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