Is it really a lawyers place to decide about the quality of open versus closed source?
This morning I was meet by a newspaper saying “Closed source is better”, but that’s not really what surprised me. What really surprised me was the fact that it wasn’t an expert in any way that made this statement, but a LAWYER. How would she know?!
This lawyer, Malin Forsman, believes that closed source has better quality than open source even though many researches point the other way. She also praises Microsoft’s security updates as an example of great and fast resolution plans when their trademark is at stake. Her argument is that with money in the picture everyone will be pressured to deliver quality code. To that we can add that most open source developers are paid for developing open source applications which means there’s money in the picture and from her argument that would mean they’re pressured to produce quality code.
Companies like Sun and IBM who’s been on the market for longer than most companies producing closed source only are setting their focus on open source. IBM pays their own personeal to develop applications like Eclipse and Sun bought MySQL together with the open source database they develop with the same name. On top of this Sun decided to release their former closed source operating system partly as open source, did that decision result in poor code quality over night?
Back to my main question, is it really a lawyers place to decide wheter open or closed source has the better quality? What does a lawyer know about code quality, functionality and advanced applications anyway? Another concern I have about this lawyer is the fact that she used to work for Microsoft, which ofcourse wasn’t mentioned at all in the news article, does she still run their errands or is it that she just doesn’t get paid from anyone using or developing open source code since it’s pretty hard to intrude on the intellectual property when it’s given away for free?