[License-discuss] we need a new license for earning money

Chris Travers chris at metatrontech.com
Wed Sep 25 03:06:44 UTC 2013

On Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 3:04 PM, Pirmin Braun <pb at intars.de> wrote:

> Am Fri, 20 Sep 2013 15:22:41 -0400
> schrieb John Cowan <cowan at mercury.ccil.org> :
> > Pirmin Braun scripsit:
> >
> > > So I'd like to share our thoughts: Maybe it is possible to add such
> > > an extension to the OSI Open Source Definition? Or create a new class
> > > of approved liceneses?
> >
> > Not gonna happen.  We believe very strongly in non-discrimination among
> > licensees, and to disadvantage the millionaire is as unethical as to
> > disadvantage the poor.
> we're in the business world: The millionaire companies feel better to pay
> for licences. It's not a disadvantage. They want to see, there is someone
> taking care of the software they're using who makes a living from this
> money. There are about 60 years of programming in IntarS (started at 1996)
> and it's easier to just say price than trying to explain how this
> development was financed. Because either there were non-paid just-for-fun
> programmers at work who may turn away at any time or the professional
> services have to pay the bills.
> Taking license fees just gives more credibility and trust.

The question in my mind is that of ownership.  If you license the software
to someone, you control what they can do with it.  You own the software
they use (in the sense of having the right to control it).  If you cede
that ownership by degrees (GPL cedes some, BSD cedes more, etc) the
companies take on more of that ownership.  In essence, I see software
licenses as folks paying for the privilege of being told what they cannot
do with the software.

If they need to give you credibility and trust, charge them for a support
account, a warranty, or the like.

> Then have you ever thought about the allowed means of making money from
> Open Source? Like selling copies? Strictly speaking, this is also a
> discrimination: Someone having a slow internet connection or little
> knowledge of how to build a product from the sources and having no friends
> that can help is forced to pay money. Same with professional services:
> companies not having the IT stuff to do it inhouse are discriminated! They
> have to hire Open Source contractors to help them.

Selling copies have never been significant money makers for my business.

Also IME, the companies with IT staff tend to pay for more services
(because they know what they need!) than those who don't, and they often
have more complex needs.

Best Wishes,
Chris Travers

> --
> Pirmin Braun - IntarS Unternehmenssoftware GmbH - Am Hofbräuhaus 1 - 96450
> Coburg
> +49 2642 40526292 +49 174 9747584 - skype:pirminb www.intars.de
> pb at intars.de
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