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Re: Banks are Open Source 'Lamers'

__/ [ Rex Ballard ] on Thursday 27 April 2006 06:05 \__

> I published a reply in the talkback section.
> I have 26 years in the IT industry and 16 of that in Financial
> Services.
> Financial Services companies contribute a great deal of software to
> Open Source, but they do so covertly.  These companies often hire
> consultants, and allow them to retain the property rights.  When
> employees come up with something useful that isn't strategic, the
> company gives the software to companies like Sun Microsystems or IBM,
> who are free to contribute to the open source community.
> In some cases, good open source projects are even funded through
> contracts with consulting services and other services contracts.
> The financial services prefer not to make direct contributions because
> this would make them the "deepest pockets" and an attractive target for
> unethical lawyers.

I notice that it's phrased differently in the Talkback section:


Name:                   Rex Ballard
Occupation:             IT Architect
Comment:                Financial companies are major contributors.

,----[ Quote ]
| It's actually a bit amuzing and ironic to read this article.
| Financial services companies are major contributors, but they
| contribute covertly.
| Financial companies don't want to expose themselves to the liability
| of directly supporting open source, largely because they would be the
| "deepest pockets" and therefore attractive to lawyers hoping to cash
| in on almost any misfortune involving software contributed by the
| institutions.
| In general, there are several strategies for mitigating this risk.
| The simplest is to use consultants for the bulk of your development.
| You can also establish a corporate policy that the employees do not
| disclose any confidential information to outside sources.
| Dow Jones was one of the first nationally branded commercial publishers
| on the Internet, and provided funding to WAIS inc, who provided the
| foundation for some of the most popular search engines - this was back
| in 1993.
| Much of the prototyping was done on Linux, and eventually the server
| was placed on Solaris, and later moved to HP_UX.
| Insurance companies have given source code developed by their
| employees to companies such as Sun Microsystems, who then published
| it as open source technology.

I once came to realise that you add corrections to articles where they should
be corrected. It's a valuable contribution, which I thought should /not/ be
a clickthrough away from the main article of the body.

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz      |    "ASCII stupid question, get a stupid ANSI"
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux     ¦     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
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      http://iuron.com - help build a non-profit search engine

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