OVPL summary

Chris Yoo cyoo at squiz.net
Tue Sep 27 01:53:18 UTC 2005

> What's happened here? IE who has gained and who has lost (in 
> what's basically the disaster scenario). The ID has gained a 
> pile of code for their proprietary product. The opensource 
> community now have a product under a reciprocal license they 
> can carry on using and modifying (in state
> X) but know that there's a risk the ID can "freeload" off any 
> further modifications. You'll notice that compare to the 
> start case (where the community had nothing) they've won 
> something (a large code base), and lost something (some time 
> working). The ID's won something (some time working), and 
> lost something (the trade secrets, and the threat of 
> competition from the non-proprietary version in state X). 
> It's a trade-off. Enter into this only with your eyes open!

I believe the above provides an excellent description of how the OVPL
provides a balance between using open source to maintain a sustainable
business while providing the benefit of that sustainability to the wider

Its often easy to forget the benefit that open source software receives from
a business-oriented benefactor. I am quite sure that the in most if not all
dual-licensed projects, the wider community gains from consistent
development and improvement by developers employed by the company 'driving'
the software. Often this will make up for a decreased degree of
participation by the open source community. Many of the great open source
products that we use today have used this model to become what they are.

IMHO, to create a precedent that would see such a model as 'non open source'
would be an unfortunate development, particularly in light of the growing
interest in open source by closed source software players. 


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