19 January 2007

Alan Cox Stands up for Closed Source

These aren't words you'd expect to issue from the mouth of one of the most senior Linux hackers:

Cox said that closed-source companies could not be held liable for their code because of the effect this would have on third-party vendor relationships: "[Code] should not be the [legal] responsibility of software vendors, because this would lead to a combinatorial explosion with third-party vendors. When you add third-party applications, the software interaction becomes complex. Rational behaviour for software vendors would be to forbid the installation of any third-party software." This would not be feasible, as forbidding the installation of third-party software would contravene anti-competition legislation, he noted.

But, of course, he's absolutely right - which emphasises how lucky we are to have someone as sane as Alan representing the free software community when too many self-styled supporters present quite a different image.

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