Is that single-company-controlled project actually open source in the sense of delivering software freedoms to you or just about delivering prospective customers to its host company? Here are 7 tests.
I frequently sum up the nature of open source licensing as granting permission in advance to developers or users to use, improve and share the software for any purpose. But the “Permission In Advance” lens has uses beyond just the rights to copyrights and patents granted in an OSI-approved license.
In my consulting engagements, I use a “thinking tool” to help clients work through their proposals for new open source community activities. Evaluating a project’s licensing, patent, and community management strategy — both to join it and to host it — should begin with the question: “How confident are community members that they have permission in advance to do whatever they need to succeed?” The more reasons for confidence, the larger the community.
Here are some of the questions community members will be asking, perhaps silently, about single-company open source projects and their own agency as a member of the community:Continue reading