Subject: Re: July 24th Open Source Summit at O'Reilly Conference
From: Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2001 11:05:02 -0400 (EDT)

Dave sent this to attendees of the July 24th Open Source Summit at the 
O'Reilly Open Source Conference in San Diego.  FSB'ers might want to
read it as well.
-russ

Dave Winer writes:
 > Good morning!
 > 
 > Yesterday I got an email from Brian Behlendorf, CTO at Collabnet and
 > president of the Apache Foundation, in response to a DaveNet piece [1] that
 > talked briefly about the open source summit last Tuesday.
 > 
 > In that piece I said "We can work with Microsoft. Looking back over the last
 > few years, most of the time our collaboration has been open, productive and
 > fair. They listened, we did too, and we developed some new interesting
 > software. There is a precedent for fair competition. Let's make the most of
 > that."
 > 
 > Brian said: "I agree we can work with Microsoft, but sometimes they put
 > terms on the relationships that just make that impossible.  I was glad I was
 > about to get Mundie to state "of course!" when I asked if they had patents
 > they planned to enforce against independent implementors of .Net and
 > Hailstorm.  It's amazing how perfectly they craft their offering such
 > that those who raise the more serious issues about them came off sounding
 > like paranoid lunatics, and when the predictions of those "lunatics" come
 > true (as in, "MS will use their monopoly on the desktop to create a new
 > monopoly on the Internet") people will just write it off with a "who could
 > have known? they probably earned it anyways" set of comments.  While that
 > debate on Thursday's panel (if you saw it, if not, there's video on
 > technetcast.ddj.com) made MS come out looking more reasonable than the open
 > source folks, I think people are even more aware now of some of the deep
 > issues their proposed new architectures present."
 > 
 > That prompted me to watch the video [2] of the debate from last Thursday in
 > San Diego.
 > 
 > Now I've been in the "ecosystem" defined by Microsoft and the companies they
 > subsumed for over 20 years, and I've never seen them be this bold, nor stoop
 > to such a low level. The patent threat that Behlendorf mentions was
 > confirmed by Mundie and Stutz. It's changing my thinking about the road
 > ahead. It's going to be a lot rougher than I thought.
 > 
 > My only advice is to use your mind, stay centered on what you believe and
 > state it clearly. There is no consistency to what Microsoft says. There's no
 > point, imho, in arguing with them, or trying to show them anything. On one
 > hand they complain about interdiction by government, say they depend on
 > developers, and stand for innovation; all while they're releasing bits of
 > source code under very restrictive terms, and openly saying that they will
 > use patents to limit competition. They're smart enough to know that they're
 > being inconsistent, so any debate with them isn't going to get them to say
 > "Oh I see, we made a mistake, we'll fix it." That's not what this is about.
 > 
 > On Tuesday at the summit I said that Microsoft will likely be a victim of
 > patents, not an abuser of patents. I must retract that now, I see something
 > has changed, for the worse. I do not recommend working with Microsoft until
 > their position on patents changes.
 > 
 > Dave
 > 
 > [1] http://davenet.userland.com/2001/07/27/a10CabRideApart
 > [2] http://technetcast.ddj.com/tnc_play_stream.html?stream_id=592
 > 
 > 
 >