04-04-05

shared source, a more important battle

a perspective from an Microsoft Insider
http://www.onlamp.com/pub/a/onlamp/2005/03/24/shared_sour...
 
it would be normal that if you buy a program or let develop it that you can always have access to the source code, even if the firm or the product doesn't exist anymore (or the programmer that made the personalisations and adaptions isn't working there anymore or you have changed provider).
at the other side, it is understandable that you can't do whatever you want with that source code and it isn't open source. you can't expect from shared source the same opennes from open source because otherwise you would lose the advantages of security and so on from commercial product versus open source products
 
the whole discussion is the more interesting as in Belgium in the left wing party SPA. - which is a member of the government - there is an interesting discussion between open source believers and security minded people and that by the end of this year this should result in a global policy text and political goals to achieve  www.pro.be  (dutch)  I hope that the text will be adapted because it is naive, not to say unresearched
 
the real battle for me is to make all source code bought by public institutions a kind of shared source (with a central knowledge center public institutions can turn to for legal and contractual advice) because there is no way that all products and all networks will turn into open source and even if they do, nobody can foresee if this code will stay as open as it is today (Red hat has closed more or less its source and others are moving to a more closed environment for security or commercial reasons). If we make all code bought by the public shared, that whatever if it is open source or closed source or changes its nature, it will always be access-able (you will be able to access it).
 
and if we achieve this, than it is maybe time to make it obligatory that all bought or adapted code must be reviewed and analysed before it is put on the public net so that there are no common programming mistakes or too litte information or documentation for the next programmer to come along and change the code
 
and if we achieve this we can oblige all shared code to have minimal security levels so that common flaws and attacks aren't so easy anymore
 
it was the sp.a that inserted the obligations for the ISP's to give free securitysoftware to its users and to secure its gateways for the networks in the telecommunications laws that are now before parliament   www.veiligecomputer.be
 
 from the same author as the first article, another interesting article on Open source and Intellectual property  http://stephesblog.blogs.com/essays/CustomersIP.html

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