As luck would have it, I read a CNet article titled “Pentaho buys open-source data-mining project” right after posting yesterday’s blog. Sigh. Double sigh.
I’m going to pull a Colbert Show “wag of the finger” to CNet for this title. The story makes it clear that Pentaho really just hired the five primary contributors to the Weka project, and did not buy the project. The title is really misleading and helps reinforce the incorrect notion that open source projects can be purchased like any other commodity.
Obviously, companys can purchase a controlling interest in a community, as it appears Pentaho has done here. But this is another reason for true open source projects being built around an open community, with multiple individuals and corporate/non-profit entities participating.
Goods, people and companies can be purchased, but an open community can’t be purchased. I don’t expect the average C-level reader of CNet to make this subtle distinction, but I do expect CNet journalists to know the difference.