How Oracle sees open source may not be how you see open source

Many open-source developers and business people are upset that Oracle is suing Google over Java patents in Android. These people have reason to worry. This case could change not just how they use Java but how open-source development is done at all.

So why would Oracle, a Linux-supporter in its own right, introduce the evil of software patents into open-source programming? My answer: Because Larry Ellison, Oracle’s CEO, thinks the company can profit from it.

You see there are two ways of looking at open source, as Eben Moglen, founder of the SFLC (Software Freedom Law Center), explained recently at LinuxCon. Moglen said, “The patent crisis is not going to go away. We’re now in a situation — after the Bilski decision — where clarity on the patent situation is not coming anytime soon.” And, “The patent system is built for secrecy and for trouble-making — it’s not a pro-innovation system.”

Read more at Computerworld

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