Licensing question

Raj Mathur raju at
Sun Mar 7 05:42:38 UTC 2010

On Saturday 27 Feb 2010, Mark James wrote:
> On 02/27/10 05:43, Chris Travers wrote:
> >> - Like OSS, source is available, and can be freely redistributed
> >> and modified, as long as
> >>   recipients are informed that they have to purchase a licence
> >> from the original author
> >>   if and when they make production use of either the software or a
> >> derived version.
> >
> > So, that is a typical shareware license.  However with it you lose
> > two major advantages of FOSS:  Multi-vendor support and the ability
> > to fork if necessary.
> Chris, Shareware isn't usually source-available, freely
> re-distributable, and non-crippled in trial form.
> Under the Rails Wheels licence there's no problem forking,
> distributing, and selling. You and your users just have to
> pay the original author what they've asked. But if you talk
> to the creator you have a good chance of being offered a revenue
> share on sales of your fork, beyond any charge you've added on
> your own.

Which is absolutely fine and understandable (though see under), as long 
as no one claims that the work in question is either Free Software or 
Open Source Software.  I guess only time will tell the effectiveness of 
this business model.  On the other hand, even a business model that 
succeeds is not guaranteed to be considered appropriate; e.g. I 
personally don't consider MS' or Oracle's business models as 
appropriate, however successful they may be.

> [snip]
> 3. Making it hard for the software writer to directly charge for
>  their software denies them the power of replication (mass
>  production), which supports the income of just about every big
>  company and wealthy individual.
>     Customization is hard work, and to fairly reward one's talents
>  one should
>     be able to get away from doing that alone.

Common fallacy here.  To paraphrase someone, I may have a talent for 
making funny faces standing at the street corner, but that does not mean 
that the world is obliged to reward me for doing that.  Being good at 
something does not automatically entitle one to a reward for doing it.

As for FOSS business models, there are umpteen ways to make money from 
FOSS apart from pure installation support.  Have a look at for a 


-- Raj
Raj Mathur                raju at
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PsyTrance & Chill:   ||   It is the mind that moves

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