31

I am not aware of this "scam" and am not aware of the issue being raised with the Open Source Initiative or other organizations promoting Free and Open Source Software (Free Software Foundation, Software Conservancy, EFF, etc.), nor other related areas such as the open content movement, and the Creative Commons. Of course this does not mean that dubious ...


17

The fact that the software is open source doesn't change anything about the contract that the developer has with their client. If the developer has done the work, the client owes the money. Contracts to deliver custom software (or many other services) often specify several stages of payments and delivery, and allow one party to suspend the contract if the ...


6

Start by looking at this from the other direction. Choosing the wrong license can definitely prevent you from adopting the business model you want. If you want to sell your software, then any open license is likely to prevent you doing so .. because anyone can get the software for free. So you need a closed license in that case. If you want to make ...


6

You run this "risk" whenever you put code on Github in a public repository with an open source license -- others can use it. Usually that is what is intended. If you are developing this for a customer, then why would you give them the option to cancel the entire thing when the work is already done? That's a very unusual clause in a contract that's not at ...


5

First I will echo the fact that if you don't distribute software that includes GPL-licensed components, you are not bound by the requirements of the GPL. If you are, it is worth noting that Stallman addressed the issue of competition (in the context of operating systems) in the GNU Manifesto's FAQ when he first published the GNU GPL: “My company needs a ...


5

If you distribute as GPL If you competitor uses your GPL code, then if they distribute it, they must do so under the GPL, to give all the freedoms to their customers that your customers get. Do you have to distribute as GPL There is nothing in what you say that means you have to distribute your code as GPL. Gnu/Linux allows running of proprietary software. ...


5

That depends on the license for the software used for the web-service. If we run trough all the licenses recognized by FSF and OSI, there are only two classes of licenses: The Gnu Affero General Public License. All the other recognized licenses. The business model you describe is known as "Software As A Service" (SAAS). Most FLOSS licenses, including ...


4

Most legislations differentiate between rights of authorship, distribution (copyright) and usage (license); though terms, definitions and consequences may vary regionally and IANAL: Author's rights (not copyright) can't be sold or transferred in any way, at least in Germany. If you've written the code, then you're the author. Period. In equivalence you can'...


4

1 - You could go back to closed source ... IF you did not accept any code from others under the terms of your Free-license-of-choice. You could also refuse to accept code contributions without an accompanying assignment of copyright, but that will just get your software fork()ed (see Open/Libre Office for an example, or MySQL and how MariaDB came about). ...


3

Is it possible at this point to simply open-source your software to accelerate the development of the product and later on close source it, or some kind of arrangement where you allow others to partake but still retain ownership of the software? Yes, this is possible, but you have to make sure all contributors abstain from their rights - which can actually ...


3

Many software developers create software for customers, and if the customer wishes as open source. That is no problem, because the customer and the software developer making a contract about it. If anyone is violating the contract (for instance the customer is not paying) it can be end up in court. The situation you describe says between the lines that ...


2

This really depends on the project. There are pure volunteer projects with a budget of zero. I have taken part in such projects myself and surprisingly it works when the problem is interesting enough. But you can not really rely on anything getting finished on time or getting finished at all, because all contributors work in their free-time and can stop ...


2

Many great answers, but I just want to add that this "problem" also exists in the proprietary world: Imagine you are requested to develop a Python enterprise application. The customer will probably want to test it in their staging environment, which is very common for enterprise software. Open source or not, the customer has access to your application's ...


1

It is impossible to answer the question of how much your sales will be impacted by making the source of your game available. However, there are a number of consequences that can be linked to the steps you intend to make. Making the source code available, even without any freedoms, means that competitors can easily reconstruct your innovative algorithms and ...


1

The open source factor is just a red-herring. As a software developer/contractor you will be paid if, and only if, you deliver the software the client requested. And contrary to most of the answers above, rights to the work you do for a client remain with the client, not with you. Note that I said requested, not wanted, they are two different things and it ...


1

The idea of getting paid when you are finished implies a fixed price contract. Most developers are against this type of contract due to the risk, but I'm not going to go there. What I will say, is that if you're doing fixed price contract, you don't have to produce the source until they pay you. Then they can push it up to a public github account if they ...


1

An important clause which should appear in any work-for-hire contract is that transfer of copyright (in this case "release under an open source license") doesn't happen before the transfer of money. Effectively, your work stays proprietary and doesn't become open source until you are paid. When you publish your work on GitHub under an open source license, ...


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