Letter: Misunderstandings over open-source software harm local IT industry

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| Shuttleworth is of course part of the IT industry. His company, Canonical, is
| a business based on FOSS. Canonical's revenue comes from implementing FOSS
| business models. There are many other companies, including fairly substantial
| multinationals, that use FOSS and hybrid FOSS/proprietary business models to
| gain revenue. Among them are Sun Microsystems, IBM, Novell, Red Hat and
| others.
| [...]
| The minister talked about the need for open standards. Who would implement
| such standards but the IT industry? The article presents the impression that
| the minister's call for open standards is somehow against that very industry.
| The article clearly sets up the notion of FOSS and open standards as being
| anti-Microsoft, which is equally absurd. If the particular standard that is
| at the heart of current debate is accepted, Microsoft will obviously be one
| of its implementers because to do otherwise would be suicide.


Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi apprently received rebuttals/smears for 'ruining' the
industry by supporting truly open standards (ODF) and opposing intellectual
monopolies. Where might /that/ have come from? "Open" and "open source"
meanwhile continue to get abused. Latest example:

How Open Source (Ideas) Can Win the War and Save the Auto Industry

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| I am often dismayed by the misappropriation of the term open source.
| Companies apply the term to products that are free though not open source.
| It’s a classic marketing maneuver to leverage a brand that already has broad
| recognition.
| A clothing company sent me a release not too many months ago about their new
| open source clothing line. After close inspection they meant design your own
| outfit from their catalog of designs that they owned. It wasn’t open source
| but I recall a number of open source trade publications picking up the story.
| Good marketing stunt but not accurate.


Related and recent:

SA minister slams software patents

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| In a taped address for the Idlelo 3 conference, Fraser-Moleketi said
| that “open standards are a critical factor in building interoperable systems
| that are important to governments … In South African we have a document - the
| minimum interoperability standards - which includes the use of open document
| format or ODF.” * *
| Fraser-Moleketi pointed out that ODF was adopted as an ISO standard in 2006.
| She said that it was “unfortunate that the leading vendor of proprietary
| office software, which enjoys considerable dominance in the market, chose not
| to participate and support ODF in its products but rather to develop its own
| competing document standard, which is now also awaiting judgement in the ISO
| process. * *