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Novell Chairman Endorses Open-Source Capitalism

Novell is throwing its weight behind a profit model for open-source software--a move that should come as no surprise, given that the company closed its $210 million acquisition of SUSE Linux last week.

Too often, open-source software is construed as free, and that's not always the case, Novell Vice Chairman Chris Stone told reporters Wednesday morning at the LinuxWorld Expo in New York.

"It's clear that you can build value-added applications atop Linux, and there's nothing in the license to prevent that. MySQL is a good example," Stone said. MySQL is a database that's available under the General Public License, which is popular in the open-source world, as well as commercially for a fee.

Earlier, Novell Chairman Jack Messman stressed the same point in his LinuxWorld keynote. "We've spent a quarter of a billion dollars on Linux companies in the last six months. Clearly, we're interested in how Linux can make money," he said.

Messman added that there's a real need for file and print services for open-source software. "We see no contradiction in offering an open-source operating system plus proprietary value-added services atop it," he said.

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