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January 21, 2009

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Marten Mickos

Dennis,

Thx for this article and other articles on open source!

I enjoy your writing (I don't agree with everything, but I enjoy it), but I'd like to comment on something you said in the above article: "And since software is software, how can the way it is licensed make it 'more productive'?"

Personally I believe that's exactly one of the benefits of open source. Even if we remove the other benefits of open source software, there is a very specific one in having the source code licensed in an open fashion: people can review the code, learn from it, fix it, expand on it, verify it, and so on. And they can do this without having to go through a cumbersome negotiation with a vendor. That's how they become *more productive*.

Ask Craigslist, Wikipedia, Facebook, Google and others. If these organizations had received the same code they now use but under a closed-source license, they would not have been as productive as they are today. To me that's evidence that the license indeed makes a big difference in productivity. Make sense?

Kind regards,

Marten

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Marten Mickos, SVP, Database Group, Sun Microsystems

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