[License-discuss] On dual-licensing

Henrik Ingo henrik.ingo at avoinelama.fi
Sun Jan 5 15:42:50 UTC 2020

On Sun, Jan 5, 2020 at 3:35 PM Dirk Riehle <dirk at riehle.org> wrote:
> On 02.01.20 15:30, Henrik Ingo wrote:
> > I wanted to make some general notes on the term and practice of
> > "dual-licensing". This is related to the ongoing review of the CAL license,
> Thanks for taking the plunge!
> In my book, dual licensing is an IP licensing strategy and open core is an IP
> modularity strategy. I wouldn't really call them a business model, but they
> are some of the strategies that one can use to create a business model.

Agreed. Since one enables the other, I often use these terms
interchangeably. Maybe in the context of "license-discuss" talking
about "licensing strategy" is indeed more correct.

>  > Centralizing copyrights in a single entity enables both of the above
>  > business models. It also enables changing from one to the other.
> I think "single entity" is the key issue, and why I call this type of business
> model the "single-vendor open source business model". The novel feature of
> this model based on open source is to ensure that the company remains the
> single (sole) vendor behind a product based on the open source.

Btw, one point I left out of my first email: While we all agree that
the community-style, aka "multi-vendor" way of developing FOSS
software is the ideal form of open source, I think it's also important
to give these single vendor efforts their due amount of respect. If an
investor, or an existing big corporation, wants to spend 30-100
million in developing software, which they then release under an open
source license, we should be grateful for that too. The MySQL
community has shown that users and competing vendors can exercise
their GPL-ensured rights in that setting too, even if the original
vendor wasn't always particularly cooperative in those efforts.
Several startups who went bankrupt in the space developed technology
that is still in use, picked up by other vendors in the same space.
Sure, it's messy and not as kumbayah as the ideal open source project,
but the GPL is working there too. In fact, it all works very much
thanks to the GPL!


henrik.ingo at avoinelama.fi
+358-40-5697354        skype: henrik.ingo            irc: hingo

My LinkedIn profile: http://fi.linkedin.com/pub/henrik-ingo/3/232/8a7

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