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Free weekly industry insights from the world of open source, in three paragraphs or less. Most Tuesdays, always 4pm CET, by Prof. Riehle.

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  • 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.…