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Re: Exodus Down

  • From: David Howe
  • Date: Mon Jul 02 12:17:43 2001

<> wrote:
> Er, last I checked, making something open source didn't negate one's
> ownership or rights to it. It simply means that you have granted certain
> specific licenses or rights to others (depending on just which license
> you use), generally including non-revokeable permissions to make use of,
> redistribute, compile, and modify the code. It doesn't mean you own any
> modifications, but it also doesn't mean anyone else owns your code; it
> is still an asset.
True - but one that the entire world already has a non-revokable licence to
use; I believe VA are selling integrated install and support packages, which
really only have value if there is a support organisation behind them (ie -
if VA goes under, many of them may in fact be creditors for a percentage of
the original support contract value) So the auditors would be left with an
"asset" that anyone can use for free (they can also pay for it, but that
isn't likely) a big database of data they don't own (the projects) and a
number of physical servers that contain that data - they *may* get away with
either selling continued use of the servers, or if they get really nasty,
try to sell access to the current data (most maintainers would have their
copies of the tree held locally anyhow - rebuilding it on a new server would
probably take
hours at most).

> More than one nominally open-source project has switched to a commercial
> codebase by changing it's licensing terms for a new release, and allowing
> people to do whatever they want (including forking a different branch)
> from the last public code release under open license. One example familiar
> to most of those here would be GateD.
indeed - or SSH (commercial SSH and OpenSSH forked when SSH went commercial)
The problem would be if there are any major patches contributed by an
external programmer - all such patches must of course be replaced with
patches written by company programmers (without looking at the original
patch) unless they have a non-standard licence (like the NS or Sun ones)

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