Apache license for software… one day hardware?

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Wired’s article about Mike Olson, the CEO of Cloudera, part of the new open source breed…

What’s clear is that over the last few years, many of the highest profile open source projects have chosen the Apache license, including “cloud computing” platforms such as Hadoop, OpenStack, Cassandra, and CloudFoundry. Node.js, another of-the-moment cloud platform, uses the MIT License. And even the big-name mobile platforms have joined the crowd. Google’s Android mobile OS used the Apache license, and just this week, HP announced its schedule for open sourcing Palm’s webOS platform under the Apache.

It’s no coincidence that many of these projects grew out of the big web companies. “They have a very different attitude towards open source than we’ve seen in the past,” says Steven O’Grady. “They don’t value code in the same way. These companies are taking code that would have been proprietary five or six years ago — that would have been seen as differentiating code — and just releasing it. They don’t necessarily want or need the protections of a restrictive license.”

Interesting article. We’ve heard the idea of an Apache hardware license tossed around over the years – And here’s an article about a version of the Apache License version 2.0, amended by lawyer Andrew Katz to render it more appropriate for hardware use. This will be an interesting debate for the license geeks out there.


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