On Sunday, 4 February 2018 at 02:15:32 UTC, psychoticRabbit wrote:
On Saturday, 3 February 2018 at 13:14:04 UTC, rjframe wrote:
Except it doesn't. The GPL can be used to keep a competitor
from stepping up and using your work to create an alternative
product, allowing you to have a mixed open/closed model
without worrying about competition.
Many companies that have commercial and open source editions
use the GPL for the open source code; if you submit a patch
you also have to assign copyright (or maybe unrestricted right
of use) to that company. Any would- be competitor would always
lag behind the copyright-holding corp because they have to
release all features they develop if they distribute the
application, and the copyright holder is free to take any such
work into their own product.
I don't understand the legalities of various forms of licencing.
I do understand (to some extent) human motivation.
"Why would any particular person choose to contribute --
voluntarily -- to a public good that he or she can partake of
unchecked as a free-rider?"
And yet people do (contribute -- voluntarily). Why is that?
Many OSS volunteers like to tinker, look at all the people that
hack their Xbox or iPhone, ie even closed systems. Others take
an OSS tool that is almost good enough for their needs and add a
little more to it till it is: that's what I did when I ported D
to Android. There are a few for whom OSS is a religious quest,
they work on OSS because they believe it's a moral imperative, ie
those such as Stallman.
I think that these so called hybrid models undermine the
aligned interests of such people, and instead move people's
incentive to contibute, back towards monetary compensation.
I don't think it affects them much, as none of the motivations
above would be hurt by paid contributors. If anything, it
_increases_ their drive, as they have a lot more OSS code to work
on with mixed codebases.
There may well be some positive effect arising from these
hybrid models, but I am concerned about the negative effects of
these hybrid models, on such communities - particulary those
they don't have funds.
There may be some negative effects in a few cases, as you say,
for example, those who felt obligated to work on an OSS project
that they valued but wasn't getting much contribution may back
off once it's getting a lot of corporate-funded OSS patches,
since they may not feel as needed. However, that's a great
problem to have, as it's only because there's a lot of work
already being done, ie the positive effects way outweigh the
Is this the model corporations (or those with money) will use
to undermine those communities?
I think you're missing the point entirely: _this is the model
that the community uses to undermine the corporations_. I
alluded to this in my first post and went into it more in another
post later in this thread, but didn't go too far down that road,
as it's a second-order effect.
Open-source mixing like this allowed plucky startups like Next in
the '90s and google in the '00s to build operating systems,
macOS/iOS and Android, that competed with and demolished the
former corporate giants. New startups use OSS all the time now
to do the same to Apple and Google. We're heading towards a
future where the corporation itself is obsoleted, this mixed
model helps get us there.