What do you recommend?

Alberto Lepe dev at alepe.com
Thu Mar 5 09:14:33 UTC 2009

Hello everyone, (sorry for my English)

I work for a small company in Japan.

My boss asked me to buy a proprietary system and set up it for one of our
I develop in Linux and I use open source software, so I recommend my boss to
go for an open source alternative and save some money.

However I didn't find any OSS that fit our requirements. The closest I found
requires many modifications and even translation to Japanese, other thing is
that its lacking of community support and there is almost no activity in
their forums.

I was thinking that we (our company) could take that project and perform all
required modifications.

So, my questions are:

1. Can we sell that system as ours without having licensing problems? I
personally would like to notify it to the OSS project owner and specify that
our system was based in that OSS.

2. Because we are planning to perform many modifications (which may loose
any compatibility with the original code), what it would be better:
           a) Create our own branch of the system and sell a license that
will include support?
           b) Contribute to the OSS project and only sell support in Japan?

If we go with b), I'm aware that the product itself will improve and many
more people will be more interested in it, which can help us to improve our
However, any other Japanese company (with more resources) could get in, at
any time, and sell the support taking us out of that bussiness...

If we go with a) any other Japanese company would have to start from our
starting point.

What do you recommend? Are there any other alternatives?

Thank you in advance for your advice...

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