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Old 07-26-2007, 12:06 AM   #1
antoniog
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Selling Open Source?


Which is the best way to sell open source software?

Open source selling is often confused with piracy and commercial software sellers prefer do not sell it.

I could make some modifications and close the source, but I find it a still worse solution, I want to offer to sellers as open source.

What should I do?

Last edited by antoniog; 07-26-2007 at 12:16 AM.
 
Old 07-26-2007, 12:41 AM   #2
DeusExLinux
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...don't sell it. One of the best things about OSS is that it's more often than not free. Part of the wonders of GNU is that the source is freely distributable. If you want to create a program and then sell it, then close your source. If you are trying to see someone else's program (which is covered under then GNU), then that is dishonest and wrong.
 
Old 07-26-2007, 12:45 AM   #3
Quakeboy02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antoniog
I could make some modifications and close the source, but I find it a still worse solution, I want to offer to sellers as open source.

What should I do?
What you should do is consult both your conscience and a lawyer. Making a change to an open source program does not give you the right to close it. If it's freeware and open with no copyrights, then you could close that small portion that you wrote, but not the rest. You DO NOT gain the copyright on software by making changes to it. If you did, then I would make some trivial change to Windows and take the copyright away from Microsoft.

If the program is protected by the GPL, then you are specifically prohibited from closing any source you add to it.

What you are proposing is simply theft.
 
Old 07-26-2007, 01:03 AM   #4
antoniog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quakeboy02
What you are proposing is simply theft.
No, it is just what I want to avoid. I don't want to say that I am the author. There is the OpenCD and others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeusExLinux
then that is dishonest and wrong.
I want just to examine this issue. Is any open source selling wrong?

I said: One "could" be dishonest and, etc. I am involved with open source development too...

http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl-faq....eGPLAllowMoney
http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl-faq....lowDownloadFee

Thanks

Last edited by antoniog; 07-26-2007 at 01:29 AM.
 
Old 07-26-2007, 01:26 AM   #5
Quakeboy02
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You would be better off charging a reasonable copying fee (your time is after all worth something) and then selling your services to support the customer. That way, everyone knows what their role is in the transaction. My understanding is that the GPL doesn't preclude you from making custom changes to GPLed software to support a specific customer or need. But, by using GPLed software, you bind yourself to the GPL, and must supply the customer with the source code for the software. Whether you can hide the part you wrote from them, I don't know. I believe you can, and that the easiest way to do it is to write totally separate modules that you own that are called by the modified open sourced software. But, it has been ages since I've looked into the issue. Things may have changed. So read the relevant GPL or other copyright/copyleft to see what your rights are as a developer.
 
Old 07-26-2007, 08:53 AM   #6
pixellany
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Me confused.....
First, I thought OP wanted to WRITE his/her own SW and sell it. Nothing wrong with that---if you can get people to pay.

With respect to copying and selling existing SW, that's OK too, but you need to "add value" to be able to get any significant revenue. (And you need to preserve access to GPL'ed source).

I like the Ubuntu business model---the SW is unambiguously free, pay for support if you so choose.
 
Old 07-26-2007, 12:30 PM   #7
Quakeboy02
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Quote:
First, I thought OP wanted to WRITE his/her own SW and sell it.
I guess we read it differently. It appeared to me that he wanted to make some trivial change to an open source package and use that as an excuse to close the source.
 
Old 07-26-2007, 03:54 PM   #8
antoniog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany
Nothing wrong with that---if you can get people to pay.

With respect to copying and selling existing SW, that's OK too, but you need to "add value" to be able to get any significant revenue. (And you need to preserve access to GPL'ed source).
I thinked people could prefer to pay for open source than for closed source.
 
Old 07-26-2007, 04:25 PM   #9
Quakeboy02
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Oh, and Pixel, I got my first ham radio license in the 70s. My current "main" radio is a vintage Collins set.
 
Old 07-27-2007, 11:51 AM   #10
antoniog
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Quality of some open source software is better than a lot of commercial software...
 
Old 07-27-2007, 12:03 PM   #11
crashmeister
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antoniog
Which is the best way to sell open source software?
Find somebody that is willing to pay for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by antoniog
Open source selling is often confused with piracy and commercial software sellers prefer do not sell it.
Are Novell and RH aware of this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by antoniog
I could make some modifications and close the source, but I find it a still worse solution, I want to offer to sellers as open source.
No - you couldn't.Not legally anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by antoniog
What should I do?
Depends - What is this about?
 
Old 07-27-2007, 01:08 PM   #12
bertlef
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I would suggest moving away from suse/red hat model and going mySql/Ubuntu way, Support!!!!

Don't think of selling the application like releasing the latest version only if you pay like this distros do, or charging for the installer, that is not only ridiculous (even more than using those distros) but I am pretty sure it goes against the GPL.

Charge for support I think it is the right/fair way to go, as Quakeboy02 said, your time is valuable.
 
Old 07-28-2007, 02:09 PM   #13
antoniog
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I know a web store which sells all distros of Linux, OpenCD, FlightGear and others. If that store offers, someone should be interested on buy it.

But when I try to offer open source software to another store, sellers say I can offer only my own software. If GPL allows it, why not open source?

Last edited by antoniog; 07-28-2007 at 02:16 PM.
 
Old 07-28-2007, 02:38 PM   #14
XavierP
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I would guess it's because the store's don't understand the GPL.
 
Old 07-28-2007, 02:44 PM   #15
antoniog
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What should I do?
 
  


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