Josh Berkus wrote:
>>My angle is just the opposite, what if I want to release code under an
>>open source license, but allow commercial entities the freedom to
>>provide add-ons under whatever license they choose?
>I actually talk to companies about licensing proprietary code as OSS
>frequently (though I refer them to Larry Rosen, John Koenig and Gwyn Murray
>as well, since IANAL). Which license you use is really dependant on what you
>expect to get out of open-sourcing your code.
>(1) You have an application or software plug-in that you want to make the
>de-facto standard in some niche, so you need it to have the widest possible
>distribution. Or, you're open-sourcing it mainly to make your competitor's
>offerings unprofitable. You do not expect to make any money off the code
>itself but off of complimentary offerings.
Break the above case into two ones:
1) You have an application you want to be a de-facto standard, or the
basis for a de-facto standard. BSD license is best.
2) You want to undercut competitor's offerings. The choice of license
requires more information. FreeBSD did not make Solaris unprofitable,
and instead subsidized its development, for example. On the other hand
the GPL has allowed Linux to more effectively undercut Solaris than
FreeBSD ever did. On the other hand, the BSD license works well in the
case where your competitors cannot easily take your code and use it to
subsidize their operations. FWIW, I think that as Linux kills
proprietary UNIX, that BSD's market share will dramatically increase.
But this last point is somewhat weaker than it may appear. BSD licensed
projects are competitive based on the size of their user/developer
community. At a certain point, commercial development cannot keep up
with open sourced projects under any license and there is a strong
incentive to donate back to strong projects.
Metatron Technology Consulting
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