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General Public License & Money

Has anyone had experience with using the GNU-GPL (or any other free/open) license for products?

I know, at first glance, that it seems like a quick to lead to Chapter 7, but perhaps there are other revenue-recognition avenues by giving away free software?

Codehead
Friday, April 23, 2004

www.redhat.com
www.novell.com
www.zend.com
www.mysql.com
www.covalent.net

Almost Anonymous
Friday, April 23, 2004

I agree completely. It's "quick to lead to Chapter 7".

Things are changing though. How long will it take? Who knows. The sure sign that things have changed:

The day MS finally throws in the towel ("If we can't beat 'em, join 'em) and we see a Microsoft branded Linux distribution, GPL and all. When that happens, we'll know for sure.

Until then, it's all speculation.

For the moment, it appears a quick road to the unemployment lines and the soup kitchen.

Sgt. Sausage
Friday, April 23, 2004

I've done it.  You tend to end up as a consulting business awfully fast unless you're extremely clever.  Of course, a consulting business can be extremely profitable under the right circumstances, but it's not what everybody wants.

The businesses that succeed usually have clever, sharp management, and have a solid grasp of what they're actually selling and who pays the bills.

If you simply take a traditional software company, GPL your products, and magically expect to make money, you'll go bankrupt so fast it makes your head spin.

In my current job, we GPL some pretty substantial software, but it's an infrastructure cost center, not where we make our money.  This can be an extremely smart thing to do.

Generally speaking, the GPL makes the most sense for things you wish you could buy off the shelf, but which are either (1) simply unavailable or (2) insufficiently customizable for your in-house needs.

J. Random Hacker
Friday, April 23, 2004

>>> but it's an infrastructure cost center, not where we make our money.  This can be an extremely smart thing to do.

I do not complete understand. Can you give me an example?

Codehead
Friday, April 23, 2004

A free software developer should be able to apply for a grant. Has anybody done that successfully?

(well, i would be ready to write free software if somebody would care to pay *my* bills)

Michael Moser
Saturday, April 24, 2004

.. maybe the business plan would lead to chapter 7, but are there alternative plans for individuals that would pay their bills ?

Michael Moser
Saturday, April 24, 2004

Maybe there's a good business opportunity in putting out some load of twaddle under GPL, then charging an absolute fortune for consulting time and all the time basking in the adulation that you "support open source software."

www.ibm.com comes to mind.


Saturday, April 24, 2004

There's basking and adulation for open source software?

Bored Bystander
Saturday, April 24, 2004

From media groupies and the open source fan club like Larry Lessig and co.


Saturday, April 24, 2004

> groupies

The Gals just love a man who works all day obsessively with his puter and don't make no money doing it.

GPL Fan
Saturday, April 24, 2004

"A free software developer should be able to apply for a grant. Has anybody done that successfully?"

What do you mean by this?

fw
Sunday, April 25, 2004

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