Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Does “Open Core” Actually Differ from Proprietary Relicensing?

Filed under
OSS

I've been criticized — quite a bit this week, but before that too — for using the term “Open Core” as a shortcut for the phrase “proprietary relicensing0 that harms software freedom”. Meanwhile, Matt Aslett points to Andrew Lampitt's “Open Core” definition as canonical. I admit I wasn't aware of Lampitt's definition before, but I dutifully read it when Aslett linked to it, and I quote it here:

[Lampitt] propose[s] the following for the Open Core Licensing business model:

* core is GPL: if you embed the GPL in closed source, you pay a fee

* technical support of GPL product may be offered for a fee (up for debate as to whether it must be offered)

* annual commercial subscription includes: indemnity, technical support, and additional features and/or platform support. (Additional commercial features having viewable or closed source, becoming GPL after timebomb period are both up for debate).

* professional services and training are for a fee.

The amusing fact about this definition is that half the things on it (i.e., technical support, services/training, indemnity, tech support) can be part of any FLOSS business model and do not require the offering company to hold the exclusive right of proprietary relicensing. Meanwhile, the rest of the items on the list are definitely part of what was traditionally called the “proprietary relicensing business“ dating back to the late 1990s: namely, customers can buy their way out of GPL obligations, and a single company can exclusively offer proprietary add-ons. For example, this is precisely what Ximian did with their Microsoft Exchange Connector for Evolution, which predated the first use of the term “Open Core” by nearly a decade.

rest here




More in Tux Machines

Dangling the Linux Carrot

Sometimes the direct sell method isn’t the best way to close the deal. How do you think the whole “play hard to get” thing got traction throughout the years? That method is successful in any number of applications. And really, I wasn’t wearing my Linux Advocacy hat that evening…I was just a guy relaxing after a day’s work. Read more

Red Hat Sets New 12-Month High at $61.97 (RHT)

They now have a $70.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $57.00. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Red Hat has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $63.50. Read more

Systemd 216 Piles On More Features, Aims For New User-Space VT

Lennart Poettering announced the systemd 216 release on Tuesday and among its changes is a more complete systemd-resolved that has nearly complete caching DNS and LLMNR stub resolver, a new systemd terminal library, and a number of new commands. The systemd 216 release also has improvements to various systemd sub-commands, an nss-mymachines NSS module was added, a new networkctl client tool, KDBUS updates against Linux 3.17's memfd, networkd improvements, a new systemd-terminal library for implementing full TTY stream parsing and rendering, a new systemd-journal-upload utility, an LZ4 compressor for journald, a new systemd-escape tool, a new systemd-firstboot component, and much more. Read more

Desktop Obsessions, Steam Sacrifices, and LibreOffice Review

We've been reading a lot about the desktop lately and we're not stopping tonight. We have three stories tonight on the desktop. In other news, the kernel repositories beef-up security and Alienware says Steam Machine users will "sacrifice content for the sake of Linux." The new Linux version of Opera is making progress and CNet has a review of LibreOffice 4.3. This and more in tonight's Linux news. Read more