[Talk] Chilling effect?

Chris Maltby chris at sw.oz.au
Tue Feb 24 14:39:21 EST 2004

On Tue, Feb 24, 2004 at 11:06:34AM +0800, Leon Brooks wrote:
> Recently, a denizen of the PLUG mailing list asked the National 
> Australia Bank why they don't support Mozilla. NAB's reply amounted to 
> "because it's Open Source" and they have so far refused to explain how 
> this has any bearing on their policy.
> Yesterday, I had a discussion with a fellow FOSS advocate in which he 
> related to me that three of his customers (one Government department 
> and two over-$100M/a corporations) have recently said, point blank, 
> that they now have a policy of no Open Source at all, and that such 
> Open Source applications and/or operating systems as existed in the 
> company were to be promptly replaced.
> None of the three would explain why this was so, and said peer was not 
> in a situation to press them on the issue (read: many tens of thousands 
> of dollars' worth of work hanging in the balance in each case).
> Have any of you run across this kind of behaviour (or more of it) just 
> in the last month or two?
> Do any of you live on the other side of this question, and know of any 
> specific reason why these organisations might be doing this?
> If you'd like an anonymous word, mail me saying so and I'll post the 
> body of your message completely sanitised and delete your original 
> email from my systems.

I can only assume that either they have become convinced that the
so-called "viral" nature of the GPL is a problem for any software
they may want to develop, or it could be FUD associated with the
SCO lawsuits and demands. Or it could be a combination of these.

There are a lot of deeply conservative managers out there who could
be readily convinced that OSS is a risk they don't need to take,
and if you choose to draw the line, then the "no OSS anywhere"
line is the simplest to justify.

I wouldn't be looking for a conspiracy - it's more the usual stupidity.


More information about the Talk mailing list