Category: Tuesday Surprise

  • Is open source a social movement?

    According to some, open source is a social movement. Fortunately, I may add, that is mostly in the past. While some still emphasize the altruism present in some of open source’s founders, today’s corporate participation is driven by enlightened self-interest and has nothing to do with a past or current social movement. Most companies don’t…

  • Does a license change to an open source component affect old versions?

    Sometimes, an open source project decides to change its license. It happens rarely with a community open source project; it happens more often with a commercial open source project when the vendor is trying to generate customers from users. Does the license change affect past open source versions? Fortunately, if the license of the old…

  • A Smart But Under-Reported Open Source Move by Google

    Last year, Google announced a new service called Assured Open-Source Software. It is one of the smartest moves in the industry I’ve recently seen, but there has been almost no reporting about it. Open source easily constitutes 80% of your product’s or project’s code base. If you are a startup, it is probably more like…

  • MinIO vs. Weka on Apache-2.0 license violation dispute

    MinIO, provider of cloud software, has claimed that Weka, provider of more cloud software, is violating the terms of the Apache-2.0 license of their (MinIO’s) open source code. Both blog statements contain a surprising number of confusions about how open source licensing work. MinIO writes: “As a result of the open source license violations, MinIO…

  • How to make more money with open source

    You make money with open source by selling a closed complement to the open-source software. You can make more money when building on open-source software you exclusively own rather than building on communally owned open-source software. If you build on communally owned open source software, and it is an attractive market, there will be competition…

  • How to make money with open source

    It’s simple. You sell a closed complement. You can’t make money with something that is free, so you can’t sustainably make money by selling open-source software. You can make money by selling something that you do not give away for free but that derives a significant part of its value from the underlying open-source software.…

  • It is the CEO’s responsibility (and liability)

    It is the CEO’s responsibility (and liability)

    A CEO (Geschäftsführer) is generally responsible for ensuring that the company entrusted to them is operating at the state of the art. If they are negligent of this and something goes wrong, shareholders may well be on their back, suing them for failure of due care and diligence or just generally for mismanagement. Open source…

  • Now careful with that trademark policy

    Community open source projects that become successful are often commercially relevant. Hence, to prevent abuse, the project founder or a supporting foundation acquires a trademark to the name of the project. If you want to build a business based on the project, you’ll want to use the trademark in advertising your product, and if you…

  • Three types of community open source

    Any project or product that uses open-source software becomes dependent on it. Introducing such a dependency should be thought through in detail, in particular if the software is to be used as a component in a commercial product. Most notably, you need to understand the intentions of the open source programmers then and how they…