Summary of Contributors To Open Source Projects
Today we are experiencing the second generation of Open Source business plans. Some Linux distributions are attempting to imitate proprietary software. Behind their costly box of software or per-seat license is a product that the customer could acquire without charge through other channels. Several strategies are combined to make this work: the development of a brand that is perceived to hold more trust or value than the naked software. The vendor invests resources into certification by proprietary application vendors, who each want to support only a few distributions . Customers who need support for a proprietary product on Linux thus have an incentive to pay for that vendor's version of Linux. Some support services are sequestered, such as security problem reports or bug patches, so that they will only be available to people who have purchased the costly box and per-seat licenses. If the customer loads the free software on more systems than he's paid for and the vendor finds out, the customer will be penalized by the revocation of his service contract and the withdrawal of security information critical to the continued operation of the software. Perhaps the best name for this business model is proprietary Open Source, in which services are offered but the business is operated in the proprietary box-software model. This business model is essentially antagonistic to the volunteers who have created much of the Open Source software. They weren't out to develop another Microsoft, and they resent the sequestering of service information on their software. It is in conflict with the spirit, but not the letter, of Open Source licensing such as the GPL . In general, volunteers help the companies they approve of. As the internal experts on Open Source for their employers, they recommend the companies that they approve of. And thus there will be significant challenges to the proprietary Open Source model.
Open-source economics - Wikipedia
The strange economics of open-source software - …
Perens formerly served as Senior Global Strategist for Linux and Open Source with the Hewlett Packard Company, and as invited expert on the World Wide Web Consortium's Patent Policy Board. He was Project Leader for the Debian GNU/Linux Distribution, and wrote the Debian Social Contract, a portion of which later became The Open Source Definition.
The emerging economic paradigm of Open Source | …
Perens is Senior Research Scientist for Open Source with the Cyber Security Policy Research Institute of George Washington University. He is series editor of the Bruce Perens' Open Source Series with Prentice Hall PTR publishers, which has published 13 books with all of their text under Open Source licenses.