Larry Augustin talks about the difference in how open source is selected and perceived between the US and Europe – roughly boiling down to:
US companies see Open source as a free ride they can take to getting their millions, whereas Europeans see Open source as a way to reduce risk, and localise expertise.
In many things Australia follows the US examples – but with their economy imploding due to criminally negligent stupidity, and the Australian government contemplating a 50% tax rebate for companies that work on open source – perhaps things are looking up here.
The TWiki.org open source project has a governance crisis for exactly this mismatch reason. The main code contributors for the last 5 years have been, well, me and Crawford Currie – both of us with very European ideals for the project, and most of the users and other contributors feel the same way. Then, last year, Peter, the project founder found some angel funding to build a startup to capitalize on his ownership of the trademark – very much in the US open source way.
This isn’t being handled cleverly enough PR wise – most likely because the ‘US’ open source style companies aren’t even aware that they are behind.