Is The Open Source Business Model Broken?



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Keith E. Whisman

I have no problem with Open Source Software being packaged and sold. You just not allowed to lock down opensource software.  If I want to change source code that I purchase from you then I have that right. 

I remember WalMart used to sell copies of RedHat Linux and the Netscape Navigator web browser was packaged and sold there as well. Sure you could download both for free.

If it's a good program weather it be opensource or closed I would pay for it.

Remember that opensource is not necessarily freeware. 



I have found there are good products that are open source derived, unbuntu and firefox.  The open source community drive products like Firefox are unable to support and improve their products lines. I just keep remember reading the article from MPC about firefox 2 with its memory leak not being resolved for they are working to release firefox 3.  That to sums up the issues regarding open source, its free whats the point in supporting other versions, wait for the next beta version to come out. 



I don't think GPL requires you to distribute binaries (.exe files)- only source code.  So you could charge people for binaries, while still making the source code freely available.  This might work, since Joe sixpack doesn't know how to compile source code, so he might be willing to pay a modest fee for a binary.


Keith E. Whisman

I think you only have to supply the source code to those that purchase the binaries. 

I don't think an Opensource author has to give away the source code to everyone. The author only has to give you the source code with the binaries.

Say I purchase an open source program from you. I get the binaries (the .EVE's) but I am also entitled to the source code. Not everyone is entitled to the source code. Just the people that purchase the software.

Now I have the EXE and the source. I am free to make a few changes to the source code and compile the source and sell the new EXE and modified source code together. This is legitimate and fine.

But if I write an open source program and sell the source and exe to someone I don't have to make the source publicly available. It only has to be available to the user of my software.

That's how I understand the GPL. 



I am not buying this. Businesses will and are looking into the open source facade and realizing a couple of things, first off, the OS and software claims to be free, licenses that is -- and indeed so, least for the most part.

However, the real money comes into the reality by support and services, retraining the employees and adding a dimension of frustration and anxiety to the work force. Paid training and consultation fees, and the certain probability of hardware costs. One might argue what would be the hardware costs, "Linux has all the drivers for everything." Yeah right... Sure buddy, here take another hit from your crack pipe. By the way, these Linux Zealots are one of the main reasons that folks like myself cannot take kids like this seriously.

Right now with the economy, why would I want to take my company financially and my loyal employees both with this open source nonsense?




On the surface, this seems like an ignorant screed...but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

Please explain your issue in clear English. What company? What employees? "Kids" you can't take seriously??




 I'm not buying it either. ( pun fully intended )


I Jedi

I didn't put much stock into the idea, either. 



Stuart Cohen would everyone to beleive the Open Source business model is broken.  Wonder why he would think that, hmmmm?

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