IPL as a burden

Brian DeSpain bdespain at valinux.com
Mon Jan 15 18:54:01 UTC 2001

Manfred Schmid wrote:
> Hi Mark,
> [...]
> > sendmail.org, apache.org, abisource.com, etc. etc.
> Whatever they are working on, at the end of the day everybody has to pay
> his bills. That applies to Open Source Developers as well.
> Developing software requires a serious amount of investment concerning
> time, money, brain etc.
> If enough enthusiasts are willing to pledge that investment, fine. This
> has brought Linux, Apache etc. to where it is now and it has been a
> great job.
> But this does not scale to the extent needed in the future. For a
> company, an investment has to pay off. The Support & Consulting approach
> may work well for established products like Apache etc. for the time
> being.
> But who will fund the investments in future? Designated sponsors
> forever? Enthusiasts pouring time in it to allow BIG companies to do the
> Support & Consulting thing?
> We are proposing a new structure to give a commercially viable answer to
> a simple question: Who pays the developers?

You seem to labor under a very strange idea. That idea is that open
source developers are "not paid." Exactly where did this idea come from?
Every open source developer i know is quite well compensated and
generally gets paid a certain amount of their time to work exclusively
on their open source projects of their choice. Any consulting group will
set aside research and development costs to further their code base.
This is one of the persistent myths that non open source companies have
about the open source software movement ie the developers are largely
college students who are not paid. All the open source developers I know
are highly compensated professionals. Programming skills are rare and
highly prized. I doubt very much that there are legions of unpaid
starving programmers out there.
> >
> > Your license violates those freedoms.
> >
> We are preserving the freedoms mentiones above and give a developer the
> chance to pay his bills. Do you think that this is such a bad idea? When
> thinking about paying developers, you have to know where the money comes
> from.
> Any company we are working for produces something. They know, that a
> product has a price and software is no exception to that. We therefor
> think that Licence Fees seem a quite appropriate answer to the money
> question.
> Unfortunately, we must not ask for these, if we would use GPL. As CFO I
> could not finance a developer program and give the guys out there their
> fair share.

Actually what you are stating here is categorically false. Charging
licence fees is not the only way to make money on your software. I know
what I am talking about as I was the CEO of a open source software
company for three years before my company's acquisition be VA. Our
software was/is licensed under the GPL and we sold the software neatly
packaged and also built a very lucratative consulting business around
it. Our software is an e-commerce product and was/is sold at the highest
levels of the enterprise. As everyone on this list knows you cannot
require license fees and claim your product is open source. I assume you
have a 25-50 man development team and a similar amount of
marketing/admin/support people? 
> Manfred Schmid
> --
> -----------------------------------------
> intraDAT AG
> Wilhelm-Leuschner-Strasse 7 u. 9-11
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> Tel.: +49-(0)69-25629-0
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> http://www.intradat.com
> -----------------------------------------

Brian DeSpain                                        VA Linux Systems
Practice Lead                           http://www.bravenewworlds.com
E-Commerce Practice                           http://www.symphero.com
620 South Raymond Avenue Suite #5              http://www.valinux.com
Pasadena, CA 91105 U.S.A.                  Voice: +1.626.584.9335 x22
bdespain at valinux.com                             Fax: +1.626.584.9364

Board Member: Linux International
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