A couple of days after the Kable Open Source conference, I looked up Gianugo Rabellino’s blog and read his then most recent blog article, “Of Oracle, Sun and Open Development” about the impact of M&A on open source investment protection.
The conclusion I draw from his article is that open source adopters need to make investment protection a selection criteria. Its well understood that the vibrancy of the product community is crucial, so its just obvious that taking a view on the future is as important. Gianugo also argues that liberal licenses enhance the ability of a community to survive M&A activity. I think he’s probably right, and this means that license terms might become important even to end user sites who have no intention of distributing software. It may also be worth measuring how diverse an open source development community is before adopting the software.
Its an interesting spin on Alisdair Mangham’s comment on licenses, but they didn’t debate. Alisdair’s comment was that if you don’t plan to distribute, you don’t need to worry about viral licenses, he might well agree on the need to evaluate to protect the development cost.
Copied from the Oracle blog in Jan 2014.
These comments were made in the light of the fear caused in the MySQL community by the impending acquisition by Oracle of Sun Microsystems and hence the copyright ownership of MySQL. History proved the fear unnecessary, SQL was the problem, not the license.