This is Argyn's blog. I comment on topics of my interests such as software, math, finance, and music. Also, I write about local events in Northern Virginia, USA and all things related to Kazakhstan

Monday, April 19, 2004

Linux, open source insurance firm announces offerings

OSRM announced their open-source development insurance offering. There was a lot of controversy about open-sourse and free software recently. It's mainly related to Linux OS and covered very well on Groklaw web site.

Groklaw is worth a dedicated article. It's a phenomenon on its own, but I've no time to write about it now.

If you live in USA, you get used to all sorts of insurances: home owner, car, health, long-term disability, life... but this one is special. Here's what I found on OSRM's web site:

"Linux Kernel Developers

Individual contributors to the Linux kernel gain access to the full resources of the Open Source Legal Defense Fund including guidance on how to best protect and defend their own intellectual property rights. They also receive $25,000 in legal protection from OSRM if they are named in future lawsuits involving their contributions to the Linux kernel. Membership for individuals is $250 annually."

I think it's a fee for a privelege to be The Linux Kernel Developer. Man, it's like buying a condo. You'll have to pay a fee. Actually, it's worse, even if you stop contributing, you have to keep paying :) Why? Because it doesn't mean that you won't get involved in future lawsuites. In USA if you get dreagged into litigations, you better hire a lawyer. I'm afraid that if this trend persists, all open-source developers will be obliged to pay the fee, not only Linux developers. It sucks.

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