Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,

"He who can destroy a thing, controls a thing..."

An apt quote from Frank Herbert's "Dune" series, in reference to a current debate that is happening online.

Mitch Kapor, the founder of Lotus, is putting up five million dollars of his own money to create a free, open source replacement for Microsoft Outlook. He even sounds like he's willing to take on the whole Microsoft Office suite, given enough time. Anyone who has ever dealt with a macrovirus should be jumping for joy... and many are, as some very skilled people are already jumping on board this project. The part of Paul "Muad'Dib" Atriedes will be played by Mitch.

"But what about Bill Gates?"</i>, argues Dan Parks... who believes that this is a "Destructive Crusade against Microsoft's monopoly". ( I sure hope so...) Dan Parks argues that "The spice must flow..." and shall therefore play the part of the head of the Spice Guild. Bill Gates will, of course, play the Emperor.

So, Dave Weiner chimes in, trashing open source... apparently, as he complains to Lawrence Lessig, open source has beaten him up, taken his ideas, and stolen his lunch money. Lessig notes that Dave's arguments are a lot like the ones used by the BigCo's who want to see copyrights extend ad infinitum into the future. Lessig is a pretty smart cookie.

The thing is, if Dave had created proprietary software with proprietary standards, the rest of the Internet would have happily ignored him, creating their own software and standards. As for open source not paying, LJ probably has close to three times as many paying users as Radio Userland... and there are many other examples of businesses making money with open source software. Dave argues that the open source movement has little respect for creativity -- pure manure. There have been some very creative things done in the open source arena, which has been a fertile breeding ground for new businesses. I notice that a fair amount of ideas that go into Radio Userland are from other apps, and I also noticed that you can now use Radio Userland to make your own friends lists, just like LiveJournal... I wonder whether he's ever considered how much the open source community has helped him, not only with his own software, but also in the adoption of RSS as a standard. Ingrate.

As a side note, anyone who would advocate the adoption of a payment system for software developers that is, in effect, the same kind of crap we already have to deal with with the record industry, should have to spend his afterlife receiving the kind of torture that only the RIAA (or Torquemada) might be capable of inflicting...

Dave has graciously offered to play the role of Baron Vladamir Harkonnen.

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