Sun Sues NetApp: Says "You Cannot Unfree What Is Free"

Dave Hitz, Founder and EVP at NetApp, has responded to a post made by Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz. Here’s his conclusion:

Jonathan’s claim that “you cannot unfree what is free” sets a very dangerous precedent. It says that you can steal anything, as long as you open source it afterwards. That can’t be right! I do understand that many open source proponents argue there should be no legal protection at all for information. “Information wants to be free.” But even if Jonathan believes that, he ought to wait until the law changes before taking Sun down that path.

One of the most important rules of open source is that you must only give away things that belong to you. If protected information does leak into open source, it will probably live forever in the web, but that isn’t the issue. To me, the issue is that large corporations should stop making a profit on protected information that doesn’t belong to them. That’s what we’re asking here.

Now, I’m not a lawyer and I don’t even play one on TV. I find it hard to believe that Sun ripped off code from someone and then Open Sourced the product so everyone could see the violation. Anything is possible I guess, but that doesn’t seem rationale. What’s interesting to me here is that both CEO’s are discussing this issue on their respective blog, in very a human tone and with comments enabled.


One Response to Sun Sues NetApp: Says "You Cannot Unfree What Is Free"

  1. Pingback: Update on the Sun/NetApp ZFS patent litigation: Change of venue, prior art at Jeremy’s Blog

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