Which license to use?

kloprogge at pointlogic.com kloprogge at pointlogic.com
Fri Jan 12 13:24:07 UTC 2007

I'm in the media and marketing industry and this industry is run by results from respondent level research (it actually sets the pricing of media space and as such the survey results are best described as a currency). It makes a lot of sense for such "currencies" to be more open and my goal is to be leading in such a thinking. I also hope that - in the end - it will lead to research agencies (the data suppliers) to be more open with their data opening up new opportunities for software and consultancy companies like myself.

The one thing I would like to avoid is helping competitors. I wouldn't want them to get a hold of some key calculation modules we've developed (so that's a problem) and I wouldn't want them to take our work and change it into a profit stream that cannabilizes ours (so that's doable).

I guess what I could do as well with the open source license is to require users to identify themselves. I guess - in theory - you could ask for a signed license agreement before you provide the software and the source code.



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-----Original Message-----
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian at airs.com>
Date: 11 Jan 2007 22:31:26 
To:kloprogge at pointlogic.com
Cc:license-discuss at opensource.org
Subject: Re: Which license to use?

kloprogge at pointlogic.com writes:

> - I represent a for profit comapny and considering turning one or
> two products to become open soure (OSI approved). However, I would
> like to assure that my company is seen as the driving force behind
> those products and get the credit for this. As such I would like the
> product to be branded towards the company. Is there any license you
> would recommend, I would like a simple basic and clear license that
> would cover this.

What are your actual goals?  If you release the software, and people
use it, they will know where it came from.  There is no need to worry
on that score, and there is no need to actually enforce it in
licensing terms.  It's a natural impulse to keep things held as
tightly as possible.  When releasing open source you should work
against that impulse, and instead try to release things as widely as
possible.  People will remember you better if you are the company
which freely released that widely used software than they will if you
are the company which released that less popular software with strings

> - What are the rules with regards to having software that includes
> modules that can be distributed freely but for which source code is
> not available?

Those modules are not open source.


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