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Author Topic: Release the source without the program being open source  (Read 4035 times)

daddydave

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Release the source without the program being open source
« on: March 28, 2010, 06:12:54 PM »
I have a little AutoIt3 script I am about to release after a little more testing and rewriting. It's not much and it is only about 250 lines of code. It will be freeware. I am happy to make the source code available. But for some reason I am thinking it should not be open source, even though I am releasing the source code. I'm not sure why--more of a sense of ownership, maybe?

Do you think there's any benefit to that approach, or would be best to keep it simple and make it open source?
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Stephen66515

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Re: Release the source without the program being open source
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2010, 06:16:53 PM »
erm, asides from the fact that releasing the source...and not allowing changes...makes it somewhat pointless IMHO...if you dont want open source...dont release the source with the compiled binaries?  :Thmbsup:
« Last Edit: March 28, 2010, 06:21:14 PM by Stephen66515 »

ipman

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Re: Release the source without the program being open source
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2010, 05:25:02 AM »
If you do not want to publish your software under GNU license use other standard licenses.

There are many popular licenses like MIT or BSD:

http://en.wikipedia....ree_software_license





mouser

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Re: Release the source without the program being open source
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2010, 05:33:05 AM »
I have both open source and closed source software, and I've thought about this issue myself and quite a bit.

The idea of releasing the source for programs, but putting some more restrictions on it's subsequent distribution than is found in the most common open source licenses is quite appealing and I think there is some reason to consider it.

I guess it depends on what your aim is.

If you have a good reason to want to keep control over the "official" version of the software, you can offer the source but restrict distribution and forking - that's something i've thought about and continue to think about.

On the other hand, if you're goal is to share the code and help as many people as you can, and you don't fear that someone is going to exploit your sharing by adding a few features and then selling it as their own, or that someone else is going to fork off a new version and split the community that might develop around your software, then you might as well just open the source and let people run with it.

40hz

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Re: Release the source without the program being open source
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2010, 05:12:09 PM »
You can also file to register copyright on your work regardless of the licensing model you decide to go with.

But as Mouser pointed out, it's important to have a clear idea of what your goal is.

Basic rule of thumb: if you have any doubts or reservations about basically giving your code away - DON'T release your source code or script. Period.  Because no matter what license you choose, once your code is out there - it's out there.

One other point:  Any license you choose is only as good as your ability to enforce it. And no, the government is not going to help you out with that.

So unless you have the financial resources to go after (i.e. sue)  license violators, the law itself is pretty much moot. Software licenses primarily fall under civil rather than criminal law. And in civil cases, the people with the deepest pockets almost always win.

Not fair - but that's the way it usually goes in a civil suit.  :)


« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 05:20:14 PM by 40hz »

MilesAhead

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Re: Release the source without the program being open source
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2010, 06:49:53 PM »
An approach you could take is to post your code in the Example Scripts forum for AutoIt3:

http://www.autoitscr...16f5&showforum=9

Source code is optional when posting your program. You can search or ask around on the forum for more info. If you do post source, others are likely to suggest improvements or build on your code.  But you have a record of the version you posted.  I guess that's one way of defacto copyrighting your code.


Eóin

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Re: Release the source without the program being open source
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2010, 08:37:37 PM »
If you have a good reason to want to keep control over the "official" version of the software, you can offer the source but restrict distribution and forking - that's something i've thought about and continue to think about.

Care to offer some rational? Just curiosity on my part. I could see for example a dev being quite happy for folks to take bits of code and integrate them within their own apps while at the same time not wanting someone to fork when they could offer their additions back to the original application.

app103

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Re: Release the source without the program being open source
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2010, 05:17:20 AM »
If you have a good reason to want to keep control over the "official" version of the software, you can offer the source but restrict distribution and forking - that's something i've thought about and continue to think about.

Care to offer some rational? Just curiosity on my part. I could see for example a dev being quite happy for folks to take bits of code and integrate them within their own apps while at the same time not wanting someone to fork when they could offer their additions back to the original application.

I recently tracked down the developer of a calculator application I have used for many years. The version I had was a non-expiring demo with a nag screen. I wanted to purchase the full version, if it was possible. The developer has since stopped development on it and offered me the full version, free of charge, along with the VB source. He said he never sold a single copy of it, since he never considered it complete enough to sell.

However, it is NOT open source and distributing a modified version is not allowed. And I don't think the purpose of providing the source was so that I could use bits of his code in my own apps and release them for others to use, and profit from his work.

But, having the source means I can port it to Delphi, if I want, and continue developing it for my own use, adding any features I want and/or need. I like that idea a lot, since I really love this app and I wouldn't want to live without it...and the developer is not interested in supporting it.