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What actually is open source & making money from it

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 4:28 am
by iceangel89
Hi, i need to do a project on Open Source

Some of the requirements:
• Can a company based on open source software make money?
• What are the possible business models that companies can use to make money from open source?
• What are the advantages and pitfalls of a company using open source product?
• Give some examples of companies using open source successfully.
What are the keys to their success?

correct me if i am wrong.

Open source means ... freedom of use/modification, ability to view/modify source code. but the source may need to be paid for? like MySQL Enterprise or Red Hat?

but this means also that i can buy Red Hat and modify it and pass it off as my own? if that is the case, won't Red Hat lose out, as in people will definitely get the "free modified" edition of it?

as for how open source companies can earn, i think it will be providing services and products extending the original OpenSource Product. getting sponsors/donations. i don't think this is all?

Companies using open source:
servers - Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP
Open Office
what else? mmm... does this answer the question of "Give some examples of companies using open source successfully.
What are the keys to their success?"?

Advantages:
Freedom of use
Ability to modify code to own needs/ fix bugs
do not need to pay license fees

Disadvantages
May lack support/training - not too sure if this is that true...
A buggy product - if the project is just started
Discontinued product - Software maker decides to discontinue

Thanks. correct me if i said anything wrong  :)

Re: What actually is open source & making money from it

Posted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 4:43 am
by ircmaxell
Well, if you buy RedHat, you get their support.  If you get a "non official" copy (while perfectly legal, see CentOS), you don't get any support.  That's why people buy RedHat... The support.  And because they are arguably the best, they can charge a LOT for the code, and people pay it (Last I checked, support licenses go for over $1k per year)... Also, phpAds is profitable... You don't need to pay for the code, but they make their money elsewhere...

Re: What actually is open source & making money from it

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:58 am
by iceangel89
and 1 question, like for MySQL its Dual License right? it has a free open source version and an enterprise one. and the enterprise one is Open Source? or proprietary? and if like one gets it, can he/she install it on ALL servers? or is it like Windows? u pay for EACH server?

and i think for the money making part, its better to put its difficulty to earn, cos u must be good.

yes, everyone can be your engineer and fix your problems but not all will release them back to you right? or must u release it? unless u do not  resell it?

Re: What actually is open source & making money from it

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:40 pm
by Toni Marie
I personally think the "pay for download club" model works well for things on the Joomla-sized level.  I prefer joining the clubs to get the open source download, not only because of the support but because of the instant access to the download of any upgrades, patches, etc.  Rather than having something a version behind and begging someone to ask around and find a download of the newer version, that sort of thing.

Re: What actually is open source & making money from it

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 3:19 am
by ircmaxell
iceangel89 wrote: and 1 question, like for MySQL its Dual License right? it has a free open source version and an enterprise one. and the enterprise one is Open Source? or proprietary? and if like one gets it, can he/she install it on ALL servers? or is it like Windows? u pay for EACH server?

and i think for the money making part, its better to put its difficulty to earn, cos u must be good.

yes, everyone can be your engineer and fix your problems but not all will release them back to you right? or must u release it? unless u do not  resell it?
Well, if you own the entire copyright on the software, you can license it under any number of licenses (incompatable ones too).  So you can choose whatever licenses you want (GPL, BSD, Apache2, Commercial, etc).  The problem comes with community submited changes.

Say you write a program.  Then you release it dual-licensed under GPL and a commercial one.  If I submit a patch (say bug fix or feature) to you under the GPL, you CANNOT, without my express permission, include that patch into the Commercial licensed version...  That's why a project like Joomla (with so many contributers) is not dual-licensed.  If you wanted to buy a commercial license for Joomla, you could...  But, in order to do that, you would need to track down every single copyright holder over every single piece of code included in Joomla (Literally thousands of people).  So, in essance, it's impossible...

Re: What actually is open source & making money from it

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:47 pm
by iceangel89
thanks everyone, really appreciate, and if anyone has more post it here  :laugh: thanks again

-- UPDATE --

then i have a few questions, mainly becos many different sites say different things
From: http://www.builderau.com.au/strategy/bu ... 343,00.htm
Finally, you can make money by re-licencing. Just because you licence your software under an open source licence, doesn’t mean you can’t also licence it under non-open source terms as well.
the above conflicts with the below right? i can't take a Open Source project and licence it under a commercial 1 right?
ircmaxell wrote: Well, if you own the entire copyright on the software, you can license it under any number of licenses (incompatable ones too).  So you can choose whatever licenses you want (GPL, BSD, Apache2, Commercial, etc).  The problem comes with community submited changes.

Say you write a program.  Then you release it dual-licensed under GPL and a commercial one.  If I submit a patch (say bug fix or feature) to you under the GPL, you CANNOT, without my express permission, include that patch into the Commercial licensed version...  That's why a project like Joomla (with so many contributers) is not dual-licensed.  If you wanted to buy a commercial license for Joomla, you could...  But, in order to do that, you would need to track down every single copyright holder over every single piece of code included in Joomla (Literally thousands of people).  So, in essance, it's impossible...
Are there issues with open source licences when reusing the code of others? Specifically, aren’t we in trouble if we reuse open source code in our own projects? In most circumstances, no. Most developers in Australia are building bespoke software, which is not for redistribution beyond the client purchasing the service.
By using the GPL, anyone who links to your engine or library and plans to redistribute that combination as a total product must also licence their own IP under the GPL.
this applies to GPL not Open Source? so for Open Source i can like change licencing any time?

Re: What actually is open source & making money from it

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:18 am
by iceangel89
and also, Sun is known to be an Open Source company, but is Java open source?