Open source turns money-spinner
Open source code, written by a community of thousands of software developers, has always been made freely available. But there are ways of making money from it, as David Reid finds out in Amsterdam.
The Dutch are pretty open about the sort of stuff that many of us prefer to keep to ourselves - what goes on beneath the sheets, for example.
Perhaps that is why Amsterdam was chosen for a recent international get together of the open source movement.
The movement believes strongly that rather than being a trade secret, the source code of the software should be open for anyone to play with.
The result is software like the Linux operating system, created through collaboration that can involve thousands of programmers.
The open source movement does not object to making money. In fact, many of these programmers can afford to be choosy about how they earn.
The source code may be free, but there is gold in software support, training and publishing.