re: The closed source sustainability crisis VIEW POST

re: I think open source is great and it is great when people have the ability to manage an open source library/application/tool. I've only written a fe...

Some great points, James! Building on your point about loss of strategic control, when developers select true community-led open source components for their applications, they know they can at least rely on the elements of the Open Source Definition, including:

  • Free redistribution, without royalties or fees, including derived works
  • Source code availability, so it can be adapted and modified
  • No discrimination against persons, groups, or fields of endeavor so it can be used for any purpose, including any business

That last bullet is what distinguishes from the Apple case I reference, specifically.


I'm still not sure that last bullet really fits with that Apple example. They didn't discriminate, the rules that were originally agreed to were breached.

Taking that point to an extreme would be something like: any rules that need to be agreed to is a form of discrimination to any parties not wanting to agree to them.

I'm not saying Apple can't or hasn't at other times specifically discriminated against anyone, just that the example with Facebook and Google was the fault of Facebook and Google.

For example, I would say Apple is discriminating if they specifically didn't want Facebook or Google on their platforms at all even if they didn't violate the terms of service. At that point, it is abusing market power to avoid competition.

Regardless of how I see this situation with Apple/Facebook/Google, this situation is also not unique to that and its "closedness". The same situation could be seen with Mozilla with add-ons for Firefox (they control the main distribution process) yet Mozilla is both an affiliate of OSI and pushes open source heavily. You have to agree to Mozilla's terms and conditions to submit an add-on as well as go through the review process.

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