Subject: RE: Open Source Business Found Parasitic, and the ADCL
From: <mmurphy@collab.net>
Date: Sat, 15 Mar 2003 05:21:15 -0800 (PST)

> Yes. I want to sell to commercial users and give away to others. That
> is  incompatible with clause 6 of the OSD.

Ah. The other gentleman was willing to go a 90/10 split -- you want the
*exact* same code base to be commercially licensed and simultaneously
available in source form for the public.

Microsoft's "shared source" program and Sun's licensing for stuff like Jini
(www.jini.org) would fit these criteria. However, based on what I have seen
to date, large sections of the open source community won't touch that stuff
with a 10-meter pole, *because* it isn't really open source. As much as
Microsoft worries about GPL code "infecting" proprietary works, many people
worry about shared source "tainting" their ability to do open source work.

That's why I raised the "are you sure anyone's going to care?" question in
my earlier message. Just because you want to give something to the community
does not imply that the community is going to want it. You owe it to
yourself to make sure you're going to have a receptive audience. For
example, if what you are looking to release is a mature technology with an
identifiable user base, you may be in fine shape with a
not-quite-open-source license, if that user base will value your new
licensing terms over what they have today. But, if you're counting on the
current open source community, you may be disappointed.

I'm not saying that your proposed model is immoral, unethical, or anything
of the sort. I do worry that it will be ineffective, and believe that you
can be more effective by getting advice on how to create a business model
around your software that still works with OSI-certified licenses.

Mark Murphy
mmurphy@collab.net



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