Not surprisingly, Bruce Perens is very pleased with the progress of F/OS software in the ten years since the announcement of the Open Source Initiative:
Had you asked me in on that day in 1998 how far I thought this phenomenon would go, I would not have come close to predicting the success that exists today. As we enter decade one, Free Software / Open Source is mainstream. Indeed, we are the leader in many business computing categories.
Among the many achievements, he notes that
[w]e have actually changed the way that innovation happens. Innovation has gone public. Many companies, institutions, and individuals share innovation on a daily basis, entirely in the open, through Free Software development communities. The products they produce are the leaders in their field. Public innovation eliminates the high transaction costs of lawyers, lawsuits and licensing. It focuses on building a fertile community across the market for idea creation and utilization rather than dividing the market for the direct monetization of ideas as property. This is the economically most efficient approach for most companies.
He has a few choice words about Novell and more about Microsoft and points to the thread by software patents:
But Microsoft recognized software patents as the Achilles heel of Free Software. This is more evident today with several running patent lawsuits against Open Source developers. The JMRI case is notable since it is a software patent suit against an individual Free Software developer, and for its offensiveness: an Open Source developer's work, a Java Model Railroad Interface, was integrated into a commercial product, a model railroad throttle, and then the throttle's manufacturer brought a patent suit against the very Open Source developer whose work he capitalized upon. Without the fortunate participation of a pro-bono attorney, the developer would have been defenseless. We should note that the well of volunteer attorneys and defense funds for Open Source developers is all too finite.
There are kind words about us (Europeans ;-) Re: software patents
Only the Europeans have turned back the prospect of pan-Europe enforcibility of software patents through a political process. They have recently suffered something of a setback in a British court decision that disallowed the outright rejection of software patents by the British patent office. They expect that a version of the European Patent Litigation Agreement may be back under consideration by the end of this year, and that in its next form it will not go through parliamentary channels, and thus will be much more difficult for us to fight.
and indications that the fight against swpat in the US may pick up soon:
But where the Europeans have won so far, the Americans haven't even tried. Expect to see that change soon. One necessary tactic will be decoupling the case of software patenting from the system of patenting desired by the pharmaceutical companies. Pharmaceutical companies literally have the best government they can buy. We don't want them in the argument.