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Databases Open Source

Monty Suggests a Business-Friendly License That Trends Open 43

Posted by timothy
from the give-yourself-a-head-start dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Want to gain some of the benefits of open source software development but not sure how to finance it? According to Monty Widenius, creator of MySQL and MariaDB, one solution could be the 'business source' license. While 'open source friendly' rather than open source, Monty blogged, it is intended to offer a viable alternative for companies that want to 'do development and compete with closed source companies on similar economic terms.' Business source starts out with similar benefits as an OSD-compliant license: the source code is visible and can be used freely by all but a small segment that has to pay (the developing company chooses the segment). Then, after a few years, the license automatically changes to an open source license. Monty recently explained the details of business source, and gave a sample license. (Oh, and not to worry, he notes – MariaDB is and will remain GPL.)"
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Monty Suggests a Business-Friendly License That Trends Open

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  • >> Then, after a few years, the license automatically changes to an open source license.

    The "automatically changes" sounds more like the BS "sunset" clauses that go into evil but "temporary" legislation that increases taxes, increases surveillance, drops environmental protections and the like. Or copyrights and patents that can be deferred just about forever.

    • If you had read the article you would have noticed: "I truly belive that Open Source is a better way to develop software." But Open Source is not always practical for a business. He's proposing this as a more open alternative to Open Core, not as a more closed alternative to Open Source. At least that's my impression.

      And...
      >copyrights and patents that can be deferred just about forever.
      No idea where you're taking that from. It's a fixed time period stamped on the file, it's not forever.
      • by robmv (855035)

        I think this is the licensing model Android uses without calling it that way. Google give access to the code only to to their partners, they develop features in their private repository, then after the first device ship, the code is properly pushed to the public repository. Everyone has access to the code at that date, but non Google partners are at a market disadvantage, they will be late (theoretically because some OHA members are slow to release new releases than non members)

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by larry bagina (561269)
          Whippersnapper. Ghostscript was the original program to do that. The current version was closed source but the old versions were GPL.
      • >> RTFA

        Dude, on Slashdot? Really?

        >>>> copyrights and patents that can be deferred just about forever.
        >> No idea where you're taking that from

        Couple of places. There's a reason companies employ lawyers, after all.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_Term_Extension_Act [wikipedia.org]
        http://io9.com/5865283/three-sleazy-moves-pharmaceutical-companies-use-to-extend-drug-patents [io9.com]

        • Sorry, I didn't realize people disliked knowledge and critical thinking on Slashdot. My mistake.
          And my POINT is that there is no reason to believe, that I can see, that the Business Source license can be extended arbitrarily. If I download the code, see when the license will expire, and wait for that period, what legal basis would the business have for preventing me from using that code? If you can think of one I would like to hear it. But as far as I know you can't retroactively apply a software license.
    • by Dishevel (1105119)

      Yes. Because Choice is EVIL!
      Down with having choices. Just get JonBoy to tell us what should and should not be.
      If anyone wants something different fuck them.

      The raging stupidity of people still seems to be able to surprise me at times.
      I must do better at not over estimating humanity.

    • Or maybe private copyright is more accurate.

      I know! Let's give the inventors the right to profit for a limited time, then turn it over to the public domain! Yeah, that's the ticket!

      Astounding. Why didn't I think of that???
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Monty doesn't get it. This type of argument is why I license most of my code under the BSDL. I don't care if people use my code. He made a fatal mistake of selling out once and now he's mad about it. It's really that simple...

    He wants to:
    1. Find a way to make money on FOSS using new scheme
    2. Come up with stupid new license we don't need ...
    7. Profit

    Redhat has made a fortune not doing it the Monty way. Why not try their approach?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Don't put Red Hat on a pedestal; Monty has been quite successful doing much the same thing as they have, only he's more transparent.

      I have used Red Hat products and paid quite a bit for them (long before they required it, in fact) but they seem to be strongly steered by internal, sometimes ephemeral quirks that are opaque to customers. For example, if the guy assigned to track your FOSS project decides he strongly dislikes you at a personal level, expect that your project will be poorly supported. If the

  • It's the GPL, LGPL, and BSD licences pick the appropriate one for your business model

    See all the business software written under them that are making money ...

    If your business model is not compatible with the above then what you want is not Open Source ...

    • If your business model is not compatible with the above then what you want is not Open Source ...

      The article describes a license that is non-free immediately but becomes a free software license three years after first publication of a work. I see it as not unlike the Founders Copyright [slashdot.org] arrangement.

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @11:29AM (#44114025)

    'do development and compete with closed source companies on similar economic terms.'

    Or, you know, we just keep doing what we're doing now, which is providing high quality software that's well documented, easily maintained, available to the public for free, and hated by capitalists so much they've sent the IRS after every organization that supports it searching for it's hidden pirate treasure to turn over to the greedy.

    Look, let me put it in terms you can understand: If your company is losing market share to a bunch of people who do this for shits and giggles in their spare time, maybe you should be polishing up your resume instead of bemoaning the situation. I mean, that's the free market at work, right? Why are you trying to interfere with the free market Monty?

    Stop trying to negotiate with capitalists. They don't undertstand... they're like dinosaurs: They can't see it unless it has a dollar sign on it.

    • Look, let me put it in terms you can understand: If your company is losing market share to a bunch of people who do this for shits and giggles in their spare time, maybe you should be polishing up your resume instead of bemoaning the situation. I mean, that's the free market at work, right?

      Yes, actually. Unfortunately, though, not everyone who runs a business believes in competing in a free market. Many of them, especially executives at large corporations, believe in exploiting government to given themselves an artificial advantage over their competition. Copyright is related to this, because it's a state-granted entitlement, so it wouldn't even exist in a free market.

  • In computer science, there is a saying, there are three states for an option, 0, 1, or infinite. This basically means, no option, the option for one, or the option for some number greater than one of which any limit will be artificial in nature and short lived because it will not enough for some customer.

    Freedom is like this. You have either no freedom, a very clearly stated freedom, or an on going battle for freedoms. GPL is option (1). This proposed license is, by definition, unfair, poorly thought out, a

    • by tepples (727027)

      In computer science, there is a saying, there are three states for an option, 0, 1, or infinite.

      In the case of copyright licensing, what does "one" represent?

      the option for some number greater than one of which any limit will be artificial in nature

      The 95-year copyright term is already an artificial interval on a time continuum.

  • So basically is a "dual license" license with an automatic "devolve entirely to [X open source licence] after [Y] years" clause.

    Makes sense. No one will use it, but it makes sense.
    • It will make sense, if the software it licenses is any good. No one would care about GPL or BSD if there weren't already many good programs licensed by them. I mean, how many people really use the PHP license outside of PHP?

  • Isn't this the guy who has been taking OSS stuff and re-licensing it as closed so he can sell it only to fork it and try to do it again?

    I'm sorry, Monty, but your track record of selling the product to closed shops doesn't make you someone we trust on this issue. Any why would a developer want to build something which was there to benefit companies first and everyone else later?

    I'm pretty sure that, for me, we need to ponder Monty's personal profit motive here. I wouldn't contribute to filling his pockets

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