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The basic idea behind ]project-open[ is to create an open-source ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system. So why don't we release all of our code under an open-source license such as the GPL ?
It's a difficult one. We are believers in open-source who are convinced that open-source economics will, on the long term change and finally dominate the entire software industry. However, there is a certain misfit between the open-source concept and ERP software, because ERPs are considered by most open-source developers to be very boring; resulting that few of them are willing to spend their free time developing them. We have tried a lot of different options in the past in order to tackle this issue and to make open-source ERPs work. However, due to the lackluster success of the completely "open-source" method, some auxiliary parts of ]project-open[ are licensed commercially in order to generate revenue for ourselves.
Mixed Source Model
So we have come up with a "mixed source" model for ]project-open[ that is based on the difference between "commodity" and "value added" or "strategic" functionality:
Here is a comparison between the three licenses:
Our hope is that these conditions are interesting for small and medium companies and that it will finally lead to an [Open Source Market Place]. Using this combined licensing we hope to achieve:
For questions and suggestions please contact. We are aware that licenses are a critical issue in the Open-Source community and we are eager to learn about your opinion.
GPL - The Gnu Public License
GPL software is free for everybody to use, modify and redistribute.
FL - ]project-open[ "Free License"
Software under the Free License is free for everybody to use and modify. It is "normal" commercial software, but the license fee is €0.00.
However, the redistribution of any software that has been downloaded/modified is restricted in order to avoid the "free loader problem" (companies taking advantage of the efforts of others). Basically, you have to become a "[partner]" and share the development costs in order to receive the rights of redistribution for any software downloaded/modified with the Free License.
CL - ]project-open[ "Commercial License"
All software released under the Commercial License is "normal" software in the sense that the user has to pay for the software in order to use it.
However, the customer receives the source-code of the modules together with the right to modify the software. Therefore the end-user will possess all source code and the right to further modify and extend that source code. But the rights of redistribution remain the same as with the free license, one must first become a "[partner]" before becoming able to further redistribute the software.
Licensing of ]project-open[ Packages
]project-open[ consists of the OpenACS base platform plus several "]project-open[ packages". In order to install ]project-open[ you first need to install OpenACS and then add the ]project-open[ packages. The Windows Installer includes all of these components in one single binary. On Linux, OS X, Solaris and other Unix variants you will have to follow the OpenACS installation guide and then add the ]po[ packages manually.
All ]po[ packages are delivered in ".apm" format (OpenACS Package Manager), suitable for automatic web-installation from the OpenACS. You can rename them to ".tgz" or ".tar.gz" in order to open them and see the source code.
Free License Packages
Commercial License Packages