Subject: Re: Fwd: Wall Street article on a new Cooperative
From: "Benjamin J. Tilly " <ben_tilly@operamail.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2004 02:34:24 +0800

Russell McOrmond <russell@flora.ca> wrote:
[...]
>   I am surprised that these closed groups of people in this "co-op" are
> being discussed in this forum.  It is not the number of developers that
> make a project open source, but the ability of a third party to be a user
> and to fork the project entirely *outside* of any membership.  
> Organizations which allow internal-forks within a closed membership don't
> seem relevant to this group, and are largely indistinguishable from
> existing "software manufacturing" firms which are internally open.

Why the surprise?  The list is about free software business.  It
is of interest to us to know about both what is happening in the
free world, and what alternatives we are likely to run into.  In
particular, attempts at "partially open source" say a lot about
what parts of the open source message are getting through (and
which are not).

>   Suggesting that this co-op is Open Source is like saying that a
> dictatorship that has greater than 20 people in the governing council is
> really a democracy.  It isn't a democracy unless citizens outside the
> governing council have a vote and a say in the operations and makeup of
> the government, not just existing council members.

Nobody has said that this is Open Source.  Lots of people have
said that it is not, and there has been discussion about whether
this represents a step *towards* open source.  That is, will this
lead to participants realizing that this strategy is better than
what they had, but open source would be better still?

Cheers,
Ben