I've been talking back and forth over email about "the Google/open source conundrum" with a few people that I deeply respect. This will all come out in an upcoming post (tentatively titled "GPL, the new BSD"), but in the course of talking with these people I'm starting to wonder:Maybe the problem isn't that Google and other web companies aren't subject to the GPL in the same way as an offline company is, but rather that we/I think about them as technology companies at all.
This is the crux of my concern with the Web 2.0 crowd: I think of these companies as technology vendors, just as I think of SAP, Oracle, etc. But this is flawed, isn't it? … Read more