Archive for July 25th, 2007

Lawsuit on Facebook

BOSTON: The owners of a rival social networking Web site are trying to shut down Facebook.com, charging in a lawsuit that Facebook’s founder stole their ideas while they were students at Harvard

The lawsuit’s allegations against Zuckerberg include fraud, copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets. It asks a court to shut down Facebook and give control of the company and its assets to ConnectU’s founders.

“Such statements were false and Zuckerberg never intended to provide the code and instead intended to breach his promise,” the lawsuit said, alleging that he “intended to steal the idea for the Harvard Connection Web site, and in fact he did so.”



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Should your startup release all or part of your product under an
Open Source license?

Should you use Open Source Software in
your commercial product or contribute to Open Source projects?

How can an Open Source Software strategy help your startup
company with cost reductions, marketing, public awareness or
code stability?

How does Open Source Software relate to your
patent strategy?

An experienced Entrepreneur suggests Open Source Software strategies that can help apitalist companies make money while contributing to the Community.

A primary goal for cash-strapped startups is often the cost reductions inherent in using Open Source Software.

But free software does have a price to businesses: one must comply with license restrictions, be cautious when combining code with different licenses and be clear as to the business value created.

The benefits to such a strategy include opportunities for greater public awareness of a company’s existence, the ability to perform stealth marketing at conferences, a reduction in the overhead associated with evaluations and the potential for bugs to be repaired (and even features developed) by third parties.

Startup companies have limited budgets and limited time to show value. Venture-funded startups are under particular time pressure from their investors. Use of high-quality Open Source components avoids hard costs since Open Source projects do not require royalty or license payments.

Engineering teams should be encouraged to build proprietary software using carefully-chosen Open Source components. Startups should be particularly careful to put their available engineering effort where it will provide the most value
to their business.

It is important to any company’s sales and marketing teams that an Open Source project not compete with the company’s core commercial products. One way to manage this is to bring the sales and marketing teams into discussions of specific features to be released under an Open Source project. Sales and marketing staff and product managers, who spend their days speaking to potential customers, will generally have a very solid understanding of which features customers are willing to pay for.




    • Types of Open Source licenses
    • Best licenses for companies releasing Open Source Software

  • Lawyers and Open Source Software licenses



…More in this PDF

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