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SAP exec takes on open source

The open-source movement can stifle innovation, SAP executive Shai Agassi reportedly said in a speech this week, where he obliquely compared the movement to socialism.


"Intellectual property (IP) socialism is the worst that can happen to any IP-based society," he was quoted saying by VNUNet. "And we are an IP-based society. If there is no way to protect IP, there is no reason to invest in IP."

The sentiment isn't uncommon in proprietary software circles, and has raised the hackles of many in the open-source movement. And while Agassi's quote wasn't quite as inflammatory as Bill Gates' communist comment, it was enough to heat up the blogosphere.

Blog community response:

"I'm no open source zealot to be sure, but it does strike me that this is possibly one of the best proposals for unleashing developer productivity, developing new applications (Firefox), and creating a new class of infrastructure technology (too many to list)."
--Venture Chronicles

"There are plenty of comments floating round the blogosphere and instead of the unavoidable SAP/Shai bashing - the real question should be how the Open Source community can work with SAP (and vice-versa) so that customers profit regardless of which choice they make."
--The Silent Penguin

"At least it's only socialism this time, rather than full on communism."
--UK Open Source MediaWatch