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Towards A Real Business Model For Open-Source Software

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  • #16
    here are some business models that might work with GPL software:

    Classical service & support, training
    Charging for additional features (virtualBox)
    A modell where the software gets freed after collecting money
    Selling proprietary licenses (owner of Copyright)
    Buidling a platform (e.g. bundling OS with music shop)
    licensing ISV applications or programmers/admins



    Sources of patches that are available after 5 years are useless. But who cares about freedom of BSD users, right ? Try doing that with GPL-Software...

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    • #17
      Originally posted by KAMiKAZOW View Post
      Hmm.... Mac OS X is a BSD. It just has a custom GUI slapped on it (Aqua GUI with Cocoa frameworks instead of GNOME with GTK or KDE Plasma with Qt).
      Last time I checked Mac OS X exceeded Linux' desktop market share by far.
      MacOSX opensource? No.
      How many blobs? MANY.
      Does it steal from BSD code. Yes.

      5% vs 1.5% isnt by far.
      On servers?
      On supercomputers?
      By far!

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Sprewell View Post
        I wrote the original article, I thought I'd respond to some of the misguided comments I'm seeing here.

        crazycheese, it is true that linux is installed on more desktops than pure BSD, but there's no way the ratio is the same as Windows to linux. If you count Mac OS X as BSD because of its BSD userland, BSD has way more desktops than linux. If you think BSD-licensing is just giving away your work, how is GPL any better? You think IBM cares whether they take your GPL work or BSD work? At least with the BSD license, anyone is free to close up sections and build a real business off the code: that is the true freedom that the BSD license allows. I am well aware that open source is about not reinventing the wheel (did you even read my piece?) but that won't get you anywhere if there's no money behind it, as we've seen with the continual failure of desktop linux and pretty much any open source business so far, outside the enterprise consulting niche. Thanks for the list of open source "models" but those aren't business models, which is what I'm talking about. If you think open source is god, it is clear this whole discussion is lost on you.
        Eh, misguided?
        The ratio is SAME.
        Go to distrowatch, add all linux distro hits per any time you want.
        Take BSD hits per any time you want.
        Calculate the percentage. True it isnt only desktop and it isnt only distrowatch, but 1.5% vs 0.05% is fun, aint?

        I dont count MacOS as a BSD, unless it is for free. We are talking about opensource, no? Darwin is not a system.

        GPL is PROTECTING your work from being stolen. It protects your intellectual property from being missused. With BSD everyone is free to lock source down and steal for free. This aint freeom, this is anarchy!

        Yes IBM cares about license. It wont fund any development if it knows the results are going to be stolen. They do GPL and own proprietary work for stuff they want to have locked inside the company.

        Wikipedia as community project lacking money?

        Opensource is GOD, or please stay with windows which is FAIL as an OS. I VERY DOUBT the only license you plan to use BSD? If you are not using BSD-only license, why talk about opensource? Talk about proprietary and stealing code!

        Thank you, Mr Misguided!

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Sprewell View Post
          ModplanMan, I'm well aware of Red Hat and Fedora, what's your point? Let me show you some actual numbers. In the last 4 quarters, Red Hat brought in $750 million in revenues, Microsoft brought in $60 billion: that is almost two orders of magnitude more. Red Hat isn't some new startup either, it's been around 17 years. If there were so much money in open source, they'd be making it by now and grabbing huge market share.
          Are you seriously comparing Red Hat's revenue to the revenue of a monopoly whose software is the only choice when purchasing a computer from the vast majority of OEMs? It's easy to "earn" $60 billion per year when most of your customers are basically forced to buy your product.

          Comment


          • #20
            While I am very intrigued by the idea, I do think a separate license would be needed that *forces* the developer in question to Open Source their closed patches after a little while (and not 5 years when the tech is hopelessly outdated and, if it is important enough, already reimplemented by FOSS coders), and this property should be viral (kinda like copyleft) - it's AFAIK the only way to avoid a "hostile takeover" of the code.

            Also, other people's concerns are valid ones if you ask me - things like security patches for instance.

            Originally posted by beniwtv View Post
            Yeah, and after 5 years the Open Source project will have moved on with it's codebase so that your patches don't apply to a recent build anymore. FAIL.

            Sorry, but this guy really should read up on Open Source development.
            That doesn't matter - the *technology* is open source, so even if the patch doesn't apply cleanly, you can still figure out what exactly went on on that old code (remember that was already FOSS) and re-implement it on the new codebase.

            Originally posted by crazycheese View Post
            Eh, misguided?
            GPL is PROTECTING your work from being stolen. It protects your intellectual property from being missused. With BSD everyone is free to lock source down and steal for free. This aint freeom, this is anarchy!
            Do your homework. Mass stealing is *nothing* like anarchy, it's just mass stealing. In fact, FOSS developed by the Bazaar model is more like anarchy in the sense that normally there is no central authority. The closest thing to that would be the person who contributes the most, but even then that "status" wouldn't come with central authority.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by KAMiKAZOW View Post
              Hmm.... Mac OS X is a BSD. It just has a custom GUI slapped on it (Aqua GUI with Cocoa frameworks instead of GNOME with GTK or KDE Plasma with Qt).
              Last time I checked Mac OS X exceeded Linux' desktop market share by far.
              What a bull some people are writing here. OS X is not bsd - it just took some bsd parts, it's far more usable on desktops and user friendly, but it's nothing special and it's only marketing product which is greatly advertised. Bsd's and Linux aren't advertised, so this affects popularity, but Linux has much greater market share then *bsd.

              @Sprewell


              Many software libraries, like zlib compression or the TCP/IP stack, are written once as open source and integrated widely, particularly when they are BSD-licensed.
              And so? Libraries aren't whole operating systems or applications! Linux many other GPL products are more popular then many bsd licensed systems and applications.

              Start with a codebase that is open source, under a permissive license such as the bsd license or the cddl.
              To let company steal "my" work?

              Btw. why something like this appeared at Phoronix? Some bloggers thoughts?

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by JeanPaul145 View Post
                Do your homework. Mass stealing is *nothing* like anarchy, it's just mass stealing.
                Probably anarchy in sense that everyone can do what he want with bsd licensed software and where there aren't rules there's anarchy.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Sprewell View Post
                  I wrote the original article, I thought I'd respond to some of the misguided comments I'm seeing here.
                  Hi Sprewell,
                  When you want to promote an idea the worst thing you can do is to insult the people who took the time to send you feedback. You might not like the feedback, you can think they are not as smart as you are, but you have three choices only:
                  1. Listen carefully and try to correct the course in order to see the success of your idea. Or,
                  2. Try to address their concerns by explaining how your idea will work in their examples.
                  3. Just ignore it, and keep moving forward. But if you fail remember that people tried to help you and say: 'Thank you'.

                  Originally posted by Sprewell View Post
                  sal-e, it won't be that easy because parts of the codebase are closed, so anyone who wants to fork will have to clone or license those closed sections.
                  Let see. My example was based on individual programmer or small company let say up to 10 programmers. This means that your product will be mostly FOSS (70%) and closed source (30%). Now Microsoft downloads 70% of your product for free and puts 30 programmers to rewrite the rest of them. Let assume that your team is the best and MS programmers are average. Still 30 programmers will get the job done faster then your team can do. And here is the biggest problem you are facing. Their code does not have to work as good as yours. In fact if it crashes your programmer is even better. Then MS will bundle their version into Windows and every user got it for 'free' (we know there is no free lunch, but most users will not care about that). How long you think you can keep your program a live and your 10 programmers employed?

                  Microsoft did that to so many companies even when their software was 100% closed source. The only option left for you would be to get a patent and become patent troll. I don't know about you, but most programmers will not spend their time sitting in the court room in order to get paid, and never to work as programmers, because MS has more then 10000 software patents and I am sure they will find at least ten to sue you back. If SUN get bankrupt over the lawsuit with MS what are your chances?

                  But, Hey any successful person sounds crazy or stupid, until he/she succeed. So Good Luck to you. Only real problem you have is that your hybrid model has been tried before and had failed against MS. That is how Bill Gates and Steve Jobs become what they are today. I can admire your ambition only.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by crazycheese View Post
                    GPL is PROTECTING your work from being stolen. It protects your intellectual property from being missused. With BSD everyone is free to lock source down and steal for free. This aint freeom, this is anarchy
                    Note that GPL also reduces the freedom of the original author though. If someone distributes sources over GPL, they stay GPL. If the author later decides it wasn't such a good thing, sure they can distribute the sources the way they want to but there still will always exist a GPL-set of the sources that people who originally contributed nothing to the project can use or extend if they want to. GPL pretty much is communism in the manner that the author doesn't really own his code so far that it could be stolen. The community owns it and can extend it without hearing the original author.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by nanonyme View Post
                      GPL pretty much is communism in the manner that the author doesn't really own his code so far that it could be stolen. The community owns it and can extend it without hearing the original author.
                      The most community friendly license.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by kraftman View Post
                        The most community friendly license.
                        I'm sure Cisco, BestBuy, Samsung, Westinghouse, and the other SFLC lawsuit victims feel the same.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by crazycheese View Post
                          MacOSX opensource? No.
                          Darwin, the whole BSD part of Mac OS X, is fully open source under a license recognized by the GNU project as Free.

                          Desktop environments are not developed as part of the base OS of all BSDs. Therefore its not of any interest which DE is used to make it a BSD be it GNOME, the old CDE, or Apple's Aqua+Cocoa.

                          Originally posted by crazycheese View Post
                          Does it steal from BSD code. Yes.
                          Apple acts fully in compliance with the BSD license. That's not stealing.

                          Originally posted by kraftman View Post
                          What a bull some people are writing here. OS X is not bsd - it just took some bsd parts
                          Darwin, the operating system that consists of everything in Mac OS X that isn't GUI-related, is a BSD. That is because for all core functionality it uses BSD code.
                          OSX/Darwin's kernel is XNU. XNU is a hybrid of a classic BSD kernel and Mach. Mach in turn is also a BSD-derived kernel. That makes XNU a reunification effort of two distinct BSD kernels.
                          Granted, its design is different from the approach of "traditional" BSDs, but today's OpenBSD/FreeBSD/NetBSD/DragonFlyBSD is also very different from the original Berkeley Software Distribution (=BSD).

                          OSX/Darwin's LibC is a variant of the FreeBSD version with some OpenBSD and NetBSD code thrown in. Sure, Apple put in its own code as well, but that doesn't make it "not BSD".

                          And here's the excerpt of the header of a XNU source code header:
                          * Copyright (c) 1982, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993
                          * The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
                          * (c) UNIX System Laboratories, Inc.
                          * All or some portions of this file are derived from material licensed
                          * to the University of California by American Telephone and Telegraph
                          * Co. or Unix System Laboratories, Inc. and are reproduced herein with
                          * the permission of UNIX System Laboratories, Inc.
                          *
                          * Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
                          * modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions
                          * are met:
                          * 1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
                          * notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
                          * 2. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
                          * notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
                          * documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
                          * 3. All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software
                          * must display the following acknowledgement:
                          * This product includes software developed by the University of
                          * California, Berkeley and its contributors.
                          * 4. Neither the name of the University nor the names of its contributors
                          * may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software
                          * without specific prior written permission.
                          *
                          * THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE REGENTS AND CONTRIBUTORS ``AS IS'' AND
                          * ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE
                          * IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE
                          * ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE REGENTS OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE
                          * FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL
                          * DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS
                          * OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION)
                          * HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT
                          * LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY
                          * OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF
                          * SUCH DAMAGE.
                          *
                          * @(#)init_main.c 8.16 (Berkeley) 5/14/95
                          */

                          /*
                          *
                          * Mach Operating System
                          * Copyright (c) 1987 Carnegie-Mellon University
                          * All rights reserved. The CMU software License Agreement specifies
                          * the terms and conditions for use and redistribution.
                          */

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by yogi_berra View Post
                            I'm sure Cisco, BestBuy, Samsung, Westinghouse, and the other SFLC lawsuit victims feel the same.
                            So companies who engage in copyright infringement are 'lawsuit victims' now? LMAO. Anyway I don't get why on earth Michael is giving this guy a platform. He's as irrelevant as his 'business model'.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by yogi_berra View Post
                              I'm sure Cisco, BestBuy, Samsung, Westinghouse, and the other SFLC lawsuit victims feel the same.
                              If they didn't follow GPL rules those are their problems. Companies are rarely community friendly, because they care only about their interests. They should choose the bsd if they didn't want to give the code back. This is why bsd sucks, because nobody has to give anything back to the community.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                @KAMiKAZOW

                                My point was OS X isn't another *BSD. Cut OS X from quartz, graphic drivers, proprietary apps and then nothing interesting will remain.

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