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Towards A Real Business Model For Open-Source Software

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  • yotambien
    replied
    Originally posted by yotambien
    Well, I was arguing something the original post wasn't arguing, as you read above.
    Forget that sentence, Hoodlum and o0max0o aren't the same person.

    : O

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  • yotambien
    replied
    Originally posted by Hoodlum
    I don't think you understood my comment.
    I'm talking about that business model more than the licence.
    You are absolutely right. I thought yours was an argument against BSD licenses.

    So, focusing correctly this time: the point of the BSD-like license is clear. You need such a permissive license to close parts of the project without worrying about legal consequences. I think your concerns about the proposed model are valid, although there is nothing suggesting that those problems would always and automatically arise. This is, it would be perfectly possible to have a project delivered in this way that didn't have the majority of its development behind closed doors, but only critical parts that have the potential to generate revenue. This doesn't automatically translate into a useless piece of code with all the goodies closed (the article mentions 50-80% of the source to remain open at all times, which I find on the low side). As long as a usable part of the code is open, I don't see any fundamental problem here. The time gap between the commercial release of the code and its source, as mentioned in the article, doesn't have to be huge, and it can be adapted to the particular rate of progress in the field of application. Sure, you have reasons to be wary about such promises, but it all depends on who is doing what.

    It is not a black or white situation. You say you don't see this as a way forward for free software, although you acknowledge it could work. Most of us agree there are some gaps in the open source application universe. I don't discard a general change of paradigm in the future, but so far it seems software companies are not dying to fill those gaps for free. If this, or other development model, can help to expand the number of open source applications, the delay between the release of the code and that of the source is, in my opinion, a small price to pay. If Id software released the code of Q3 in 1999 it would be, well, astonishing (it would also mean that Id wouldn't be what it is today). That they released it in 2005 was only awesome.

    Originally posted by Apopas
    The bad example is not Firefox but KDE and Gnome, coz they can not be killer applications since they are not applications at all.

    Again, what's the problem with that? As we pointed before, Mozilla was able to find a great sponsor. A lot of other FOSS apps have sponsor deals as well but not as good as this one.
    The fact is that a FOSS app was able to sign a good deal getting a certain income like that. RedHat sells colsulting and support etc
    It's obvious that there are ways for FOSS to get income.
    Well, I was arguing something the original post wasn't arguing, as you read above. However, within what I wrongly assumed it was being discussed, let me clarify a couple of points.

    First, I don't get what you are trying to say about KDE and Gnome not being applications at all. Of course they are. The distinction between "applications", "sets of applications", "desktop environments" or whatever you had in mind when you wrote that is irrelevant. I named the first two open source projects that came to my mind and compared their success to that of Firefox. Firefox is a killer application and the other two are not.

    There isn't any problem. There are facts. Like the developers of Firefox didn't start from scratch to write a browser. Like when the first version targeted for general use was released, a giant company provided millions of dollars due to their own strategic reasons (despite the browser having less than 4% usage share). Like the fact that this flow of cash continued year after year until today, representing 90% of Mozilla's revenue. So, given all this, I find it amusing that you somehow are able to make a neat distinction between cause and effect, explaining Firefox's sucess on their ability to find a good sponsor or the quality of the application. I don't, and that's why I don't consider Mozilla a representative example of how to make money from open source software or how to create a top notch application.

    You say that "The fact is that a FOSS app was able to sign a good deal getting a certain income like that. RedHat sells colsulting and support etc. It's obvious that there are ways for FOSS to get income". Please, don't stop at the et cetera. I want to hear about all those successful projects that are making money of which Mozilla is a representative example.

    Leave a comment:


  • Apopas
    replied
    Originally posted by yotambien View Post
    Let's avoid generalisations. If you say it's the opposite, you can probably cite a lot of examples where this was the case. I myself wasn't trying to generalise.
    I didn't generalise anyting. I noticed specifically Firefox KDE and Gnome.

    But Mozilla was cited as an instance of an open source product "break[ing] the server/consulting ghetto". I'm pointing out that it's not the best example, given the amount of money poured over it every year. Of course the particular circumstances of KDE and Gnome don't take or give anything to Mozilla, but it's no wonder why Firefox is a killer application and KDE or Gnome are not.
    The bad example is not Firefox but KDE and Gnome, coz they can not be killer applications since they are not applications at all.

    The origin of Firefox is Netscape navigator, which had been under closed development for 4 years when the Mozilla project started. When Firefox 1.0 was released, in 2004, Google already provided 75% of Mozilla's income (around 90% nowadays). Cause and effect are deeply intertwined here.

    But actually Mozilla is a great example in relation with was has been discussed in this thread. It is undeniable that Mozilla is successful and makes a lot of money. It is also notable that the money doesn't come from selling any piece of software, but from striking a deal with an advertising company that uses that software as an avenue to sell their services.
    Again, what's the problem with that? As we pointed before, Mozilla was able to find a great sponsor. A lot of other FOSS apps have sponsor deals as well but not as good as this one.
    The fact is that a FOSS app was able to sign a good deal getting a certain income like that. RedHat sells colsulting and support etc
    It's obvious that there are ways for FOSS to get income.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hoodlum
    replied
    Originally posted by yotambien View Post
    I'm not sure about whether the scenario you describe does necessarily follow. On the one hand, there is no lack of examples of important projects that used and use some sort of BSD-like license with much success, effectively increasing--as you said--the "absolute freedom" available. So what "practical freedoms"--I don't quite get what you mean with this--would be gained if, say, X or Apache were licensed under the GPL? The second part, about where the interesting development takes place, is quite debatable. By using BSD-like licenses you certainly promote development in the first stages of the chain, since there are no strings attached. In this way, potential funding bodies, perhaps with an interest in seeing monetary profit at the end of the process, would not be put off by any complications that may arise due to license limitations. Thus, BSD-like licenses are perceived as a way to promote research and creation of standards, which can then be implemented by whoever is interested, making profit or not.
    I don't think you understood my comment.
    I'm talking about that business model more than the licence. What is the point of a licence like MIT that gives so much freedom when all the development is closed (read the article!)? That has the opposite effect of taking away freedom (of the code and from the users) as compared to GPL projects that *must* be open and transparent. In other words the effective (or practical reality) is that the code and development of it is closed for years (that was part of the suggestion in the artcle). I can't see this business model as a way forward for free software. I'm sure it would make money but releasing the code years later is not at all desirable for FOSS imo.

    X / Apache don't use this business model, so the example you used doesn't follow. They use a service model to fund development.

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  • yotambien
    replied
    Originally posted by Apopas
    Yes it's vice versa. The good product attracts sponsors and the financial help they offer make it even better.
    The fact that KDE or Gnome didn't find a colossal company to support them financially, doesn't reduce the value of Firefox though. Different circumstances.
    Let's avoid generalisations. If you say it's the opposite, you can probably cite a lot of examples where this was the case. I myself wasn't trying to generalise.

    But Mozilla was cited as an instance of an open source product "break[ing] the server/consulting ghetto". I'm pointing out that it's not the best example, given the amount of money poured over it every year. Of course the particular circumstances of KDE and Gnome don't take or give anything to Mozilla, but it's no wonder why Firefox is a killer application and KDE or Gnome are not. The origin of Firefox is Netscape navigator, which had been under closed development for 4 years when the Mozilla project started. When Firefox 1.0 was released, in 2004, Google already provided 75% of Mozilla's income (around 90% nowadays). Cause and effect are deeply intertwined here.

    But actually Mozilla is a great example in relation with was has been discussed in this thread. It is undeniable that Mozilla is successful and makes a lot of money. It is also notable that the money doesn't come from selling any piece of software, but from striking a deal with an advertising company that uses that software as an avenue to sell their services.

    Originally posted by crazycheese
    The phrase which is spoken in that minute, which you were unable to hear(cleaning ears may help) is:
    My ears are reasonably clean and in a fully working state; more importantly, the same can be said about my brain. At no moment the BSD license is mentioned there. You are somehow interpreting a couple of sentences you found in a documentary under a light that you believe it fits your particular preferences for software licensing. But I'm not interested in conspiracy theories, anecdotal occurrences or videos featuring wise old men.

    Again: there is no lack of examples of successful projects using BSD-like licenses, and somehow they don't seem to dissolve without the protection of a more restrictive license. Actually, they even manage to get contributions back even when there is no explicit, legal requirement to do so. It's simple, when you get to write your own TCP/IP stack, your HTTP server, your web engine, your X server or your own OS you get to decide which license to use. Meanwhile you are taking benefit from these projects in the same way you take benefit from GPL-licensed ones, no more, no less.

    Originally posted by crazycheese
    Google is google and me is me.
    That sums up pretty well the substance of your posts.

    Leave a comment:


  • crazycheese
    replied
    Originally posted by yotambien View Post
    No, no, what I mean is that maybe Firefox wouldn't be where it is today if it hadn't got the financial backing of Google.
    This has nothing to do with Google or with any sponsorship.

    GPL protects the code from going into ownership of anyone.

    Anyone pushes the code with financial or any other potentual to be developed in the direction which this party is interested.

    Because of ownership pretection and opensource many parties can push the source in different directions and share the results. This scales from corporations to individuals writing own plugin.

    If google has pushed firefox, then google needed it.

    Now google pushes chrome, which has not much in common with GPL and is poisoned by H264 codecs.

    With MPEGLA starting to charge Jan 2011 for any H264 encoded video with length more than 12 minutes, it comes clear why Youtube videos are limited 10 Minutes. Why Youtube(google) pushes to use H264. And why the only browser with this patented crap is Google Chrome.

    Firefox refuses to include this crap and as such users are recommended to migrate from Firefox to Chrome solely because Chrome is H264 friendly.

    Google is neither good or bad. If it behaves good, people apreciate it. If it starts crap like H264, people will know the truth(it is internet) and will switch to different search engine. Google is google and me is me.

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  • crazycheese
    replied
    Originally posted by yotambien View Post
    I saw nothing relevant there, although I skipped a lot of it. In any case, a video documentary is not the preferred media to convey information.
    Great lol! This video is part of theory that microsoft was actually part of IBM and IBM has created bill gates and co, and trasfered huge intellectual base on part of OS/2 to microsoft to get away from anti-trust lawsuit in 80'ties AND switch to microcontroller based personal computers from supercomputer segment as market changed. Bill, IBM and microsoft are representatives of something very huge, with high financial power and love to control and dominate the industry.

    In times there was one man,a chef of Digital Research, whom this video is dedicated, that actually invented what is known as DOS originally CP/M, created first personal computer and also invented A LOT. See his wikipedia entry if you wish so. Microsoft has copied his software per chinese wall technique, Bill has stolen his ideas; after this IBM has tried "to purchase" his CP/M issuing one-sided Non-Disclosure that this meeting should never be mentioned and also wished to purchased whole OS for nothing. Gary disagreed and later a lot of people including Bill has mentioned he has gone to golf that day instead of meeting IBM salesmen, which Gary couldnt negotiate, since he has signed NDA. Further IBM has agreed to sell both oses, quick and dirty from bill, which was a chinese walled copy of original cp/m, which later became known as msdos, and original cp/m. Gary agreed to that. But in the end IBM has shipped his os for 240$ requiring extra order and ms-dos for 40$ with pcs without any orders(its back from then when ms crap is preinstalled, since the beginning!). 6 times market price set by ibm itself has worked and since that moment DR has gone bankrupt and Gary felt himself to be betrayed by everyone. At the age of 52 he tried to write down the memories for the book with original facts, when two years later he was murdered with official version falling of the chair in restaraunt.

    Ibm created microsoft to prevent unknown company take any significant role in IT and destroyed DR with own invented microcrap. Later they transfered intellectual knowledge via OS/2 project which can only be seen favorable to microsoft.

    The phrase which is spoken in that minute, which you were unable to hear(cleaning ears may help) is:


    Gary was an academical guy, the one who invents. And Bill is a businessman, the seller.
    Whilst academics base their work and require sharing and ideas exchange(as seen in BSD), the sellers live in concurrency(as seen in proprietary).

    So Gary basically has shared everything with Bill, while Bill told himself, Haha what an idiot, he gives me all his secrets for free.


    This is BSD feeding proprietary!
    Without source close-down protection from GPL, BSD is a sheep feeding the wolves.


    Listen to wise old man in the video.

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  • Apopas
    replied
    Yes it's vice versa. The good product attracts sponsors and the financial help they offer make it even better.
    The fact that KDE or Gnome didn't find a colossal company to support them financially, doesn't reduce the value of Firefox though. Different circumstances.

    Leave a comment:


  • yotambien
    replied
    Oh, I see what you meant. Sure, if Google decided to give that cash to Mozilla they already thought it was a good product with a great potential. My point still applies, though; I'm sure KDE, Gnome or whatever other project would be better today if they had 50 million dollars extra each year. It's a bit circular, yes.

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  • yotambien
    replied
    No, no, what I mean is that maybe Firefox wouldn't be where it is today if it hadn't got the financial backing of Google.

    Leave a comment:

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