Re: Is Open Source Enough?

From: Brian Behlendorf <brian_at_behlendorf_dot_com>
Date: Thu Sep 06 2007 - 16:59:18 CDT

On Wed, 5 Sep 2007, Richard C. Johnson wrote:
> Thanks for some very acute observations. It is true that, if a
> certification document were Open Source, anybody could pick up and use a
> certification issued by someone else. The certificate authorities, however,
> name the parties responsible for submitting a system for certification on the
> certificate. There is a presumption that at least some knowledge of a system
> must be possessed by the certificated party. I believe that the certificating
> party could authorize designated others to hold and exercise a duplicate
> certificate for a duplicate system, but this is a real question yet to be
> answered.
>
> Is certification transferable, and if so, on what terms? Can I as a
> certificate holding company distribute a certificate I hold under GLP? It may
> be that only a company going through the certification process would be able
> to hold and use the resulting certificate. Any legal minds have a notion as
> to the IP of certificates issued by ITAs and VSTLs?

I think it's simply a matter of policy for the elections administrators to
decide on, whether to allow third parties to deploy certified systems (with NO
modifications of course) that the third parties did not themselves push through
the certification process. If certification of open source systems is publicly
funded, then we should think of that certification as a public good, and I
think it would be appropriate for any vendor to be able to provide a solution
using that certified version. If, however, the cost of certification continues
to be borne by the vendor, then I think it's fine to say the vendor (who made
the investment and took the risk) has the exclusive right to use that
certification. Today this is a moot issue as everyone's code is different and
must be separately certified anyways - but if we're trying to break the mold
this is IMHO a good place to go even further. It helps make the case for why
certifications should be publicly funded, too, as it eliminates the appearance
of corporate subsidy.

         Brian

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Received on Sun Sep 30 23:17:06 2007

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