Licensing question

Mark James mrj at
Wed Mar 17 09:12:11 UTC 2010

On 03/17/10 15:59, jonathon wrote:
> Clayton Dukes wrote:
>> 1. I want to allow smaller companies, say less than 50 employees, use
> my software free of charge.
> Which means that a company that has one thousand temps, and one
> permanent employee can use your software free of charge.

Jonathon, a good measure would be the self-assessed number of
full-time equivalent employees (FTEEs).

> And if a company has fifty one permanent employees it has to pay for it.

Yes, step-thresholds do induce meaningless discontinuities, but
piecewise-linear pricing can be used instead.

>> 2. Larger companies will pay a licensing fee (based on the size of the
> company).
> *  An automobile manufacturer with 500 full time employees is consider
> to be "small business".
> *  A stamp dealer with 20 employees is considered to be "a very large
> business".
> * A SOHO that generates more than US$1,000,000 gross revenue per year is
> one that is doing very well;
> * A retail store that generates less than US$1,000,000 gross revenue
> year, is one that is heading into bankruptcy;
> Think about how you are defining, and applying the term "larger
> company". Also think about the metrics that you are using for that
> definition.

I don't understand your first examples, but I think they relate to how
labour-intensity, wage-rates, automation, and outsourcing can reduce the
correlation between the number of employees and the affordability of, and
benefit gained from, a software deployment. Your second set of examples
make a good case for why revenue would be a poor measure.

FTEEs seems to me to be the least-worst measure in cases where simplicity
mandates fixed rather than individually-contracted pricing, and where a
single price cannot properly trade-off revenue and affordability.

I agree with Mahesh that this thread branch is off-topic if the scope of this
list is the discussion of OSI-approved licences, but tolerably on-topic
if the scope also covers the pros and cons of OSI licence criteria,
which can include discussion of alternative open software frameworks.


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