[redhat-ccm-list] Re: Red Hat CCMPL and exclusive for-pay maintenance releases

Jun Yamog goldfish at i-manila.com.ph
Tue Jan 21 04:16:06 UTC 2003

Hi Florian, 

I would like to give my opinion as an outsider from Red Hat.  I believe
what you have said maybe correct / legally right (not sure, I am
developer).  But from a business sense I think Red Hat may not yet be
able to give the latest and greatest source.  Due to the fact in my
opinion the CCM group of RH is still figuring out the best way to make
business in OSS.  Think of this scenario: 

RH releases the latest source code: 
- If potential support client has enough developer resources to make all
customization in house.  RH will loose potential revenue to continue
development of CCM. 
- Way back in the days of ACS (Tcl), aD is the dominant company and I
don't think any company in the world has enough talent in aolserver
(except AOL).  They are confident that they will retain the top company
to develop ACS.  Now that CCM (ACS Java) is now using more mainstream
technology, a bigger company can become the top CCM company rather than
Red Hat.  And Red Hat who invested initially a good deal will loose the
potential top deals. 

Of course with the current way of supporting the community there are
side effects, such as: 

- the community feeling being cheated since they do not have the latest
and greatest source.  It shows in previous threads and now this thread. 
- contributors are unable to contribute using the latest API.  Nick Ager
for one has expressed that he would like to upgrade his Calendar module
and use 5.2 API. 
- bug fixing is made more complex as some bugs present in the public
code is already fixed in the internal code. 

CCM is a bit different from Linux or Apache.  Where in CCM was born out
of a company's investment formerly aD and now RH.  Although I have to
add that OpenACS community was able to make a community around ACS Tcl
code base.  As of now in my opinion we should ask Red Hat more support
for the community like getting the source code in a public CVS.  But too
much pressure may make RH change the license and/or RH decides that CCM
is not a good business and drops it.  I am more willing to have a less
ideal community support by RH and give RH the chance to move into a more
community friendly stance.  Of course is taking very long already, but
then it might be highly possible that the CCM group is not getting big
support from RH.  After all RH bread and butter is not CCM. 

I just hope we the community and RH can work things out for the better. 
There are already some people who have volunteered help and I hope RH
does take some of the help. 


On Tue, 2003-01-21 at 04:50, Florian M Unterkircher wrote: 
> On Mon, Jan 20, 2003 at 02:48:16PM -0500, Howard Jacobson wrote:
> > I'm not sure what you mean by "abusing code."  Since all of our CCM code
> > is copyrighted by Red Hat and owned by us, I'm not sure how we could be
> > abusing anyone else's rights.
> If that were strictly true and the entire code was based solely on Red Hat IP,
> coding, and concepts, you are of course right and could immediately
> change the license terms and pull all source code releases (I even pointed
> that out in my previous message). However, almost certainly some of the code 
> is derived from a "Contribution", i.e. some code snipped, design, or
> based on idea/ bug/ etc someone had submitted through a mailinglist or by 
> other means. 
> In my understanding, the deal in OSS development is basically (in vague terms)
> the following: Company X develops some code, makes it available publicly,
> agrees to share the code so it benefits from code reviews and idea/source
> contributions from other developers, bundles it with a support offering and/or
> as a packaged binary release (maybe with some performance enhancements
> from tuning and compilation tweaks), maybe assumes warranties and liabilities,
> and recoups their initial and ongoing development costs that way while reducing
> support costs. At the same time, customers can be sure that someone else will likely 
> provide support for the product if company X goes under, and bugs/ security holes will 
> be found and maybe fixed by others for free. 
> At the same time, anyone else is free to do basically the same, so that they have an 
> incentive to make above contributions without financial consideration from Company X 
> -- to the benefit of Company X, the general public, and naturally themselves.
> Presumably the above is exactly why CCM was released under an OSS-like license
> and not under some type of closed SLA. Why else would you bother with making
> this available to the public is that were not the case, answer some support questions 
> on a public mailing list, etc - unless I missed something and Red Hat now supports
> communism ;)? 
> Anyway, I'm only asking you to stick up to your end of the deal that is open source 
> development and to comply with the license terms that were drafted by you, nothing 
> more!
> By the way, copyright and other license rights need not necessarily be assigned 
> to the same entity. Copyright will (usually) be held by the person who created 
> the code (or their employer), therefore Red Hat will own copyright for (the
> greater part of the) code, but so do Contributors for code/ code snippets from them,
> and both have some sort of license to use the entire code base, as granted by the CCMPL.
> > The old Ars Digita ACS code in Tcl is not distributed under the CCM
> > Public License.  If we ever have a reason to distribute the Tcl code to
> > anyone, it would be under the license originally used.
> I remember a Java version of ACS did in fact exist (ACSJ), not sure right now 
> whether it was released to the public under some OSS-like license but I would 
> believe so. Will have to check archive.org for the old AD website.
> Regards,
> --florian
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