far-reaching debate recently when he introduced Microsoft's Shared
Source program, which blends access to source code with the
preservation of strong intellectual property rights by software
developers, and contrasted Shared Source to Open Source and the GNU
There's been a strong response from the open source and free software
communities, accusing Microsoft of trying to co-opt the momentum of
open source with a program that offers superficial similarities, but
few of the real benefits. Microsoft counters that they are trying to
find a balance between the needs of commercial developers and the
lessons learned from the open source movement.
"We think that this is a debate worth having," says Tim O'Reilly.
"Chicago law professor Cass Sunstein's book 'Republic.com' makes the
case that when people talk only to those who already agree with them,
their views become more extreme, but when they engage with those of
opposite views, both sides move towards the middle. The best way for
the open source community to change Microsoft's business practices is
to engage them in serious conversation, not just criticize them from a
At the O'Reilly Open Source Convention on July 26th, Craig Mundie will
discuss ways in which Shared Source differs from Open Source, and why
Microsoft believes that the Shared Source Philosophy supports a strong
software business case for commercial software developers and their
Red Hat CTO Michael Tiemann will then make the case for open source.
His speech will be followed by a panel discussion with Tiemann, Mundie,
and other experts on intellectual property and the software industry.
The panel will be moderated by Tim O'Reilly.
About the O'Reilly Open Source Convention:
The 3rd annual O'Reilly Open Source Convention will be held July 23-27,
2001, at the Waterfront Sheraton Hotel and Marina in San Diego,
California. This year's expanded convention includes over 250 sessions
in 14 tracks on key open source technologies such as Perl, Apache, XML,
Python, PHP, MySQL, Linux, and many more. The convention will attract
over 2000 hardcore system administrators, programmers, and Web
developers, who join the leaders of the critical open source
technologies to learn how to understand, code, and manage these
powerful tools. Held in conjunction with the Open Source Convention,
the O'Reilly Summit on Open Source Strategies, organized by O'Reilly
Research, brings together technology leaders from open source companies
along with executives (CTOs, CIOs, CEOs) from leading companies that
use open source software for strategic advantage. For more information
For more details on Craig Mundie's speech, please see:
O'Reilly Open Source Convention and Perl Conference 5 Early Bird
Registration through June 22, 2001:
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