June 13, 2005

Fear and loathing in source code licensing

Author: Andy Singleton

Can established enterprise software vendors match the flexibility of open-source applications? Their customers want the ability to easily fix, integrate, and enhance applications. In many cases, everybody benefits from source code licensing. However, if you ask for source code from a vendor that doesn't normally distribute it, you often get an instinctive answer of "we can't do that." You see fear, even paranoia. What are the sources of this fear that is preventing wider source code licensing and collaboration?

When faced with the opportunity to license source code, a software vendor needs to do an unemotional analysis of the actual risks involved and the actual economic cost of those risks compared with the benefits of a new licensing model.

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