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Re: Additional promise to the MCA



>>>>> "Arjen" == Arjen Lentz <arjen@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:

Arjen> Hi Monty
Arjen> On 08/10/2009, at 8:48 AM, Michael Widenius wrote:
Arjen> Dual would only make sense for discrete/distinct components,  
>> but even
Arjen> there it might be easier to just have it be GPL or BSD.
>> This is for the case where the customer does not want to have the code
>> under GPL. BSD is not an option as then they could release the code
>> and we would not have any dual-license revenue anymore.

Arjen> I regard the traditional dual licensing (in this context) as a non- 
Arjen> viable revenue model.

There is where we disagree :)

It's a very viable revenue model for many companies, including Monty
Program Ab;  Just because we can't do it for MariaDB itself, doesn't
mean that we can't do it for other things in the future.

The promise is also relevant for other GPL vendors that are doing
dual licensing and who wants to signal to their users, contributors
and customers how they are going to relicense the code.

Arjen> If it's custom code, have user pay for it and license code as GPL or  
Arjen> BSD.
Arjen> If it's BSD, they can also use it in commercial - you could charge  
Arjen> extra for making it BSD rather than GPL, for instance.

That is not a working business model.
For a software company that wants to be highly successful (and get a
high valuation), you need license revenues to be able to do that.
You can't get that by relicensing GPL code as BSD.
(Not that I am not talking about MariaDB here say, but more about

Arjen> People come back to the original company for expertise/ 
>> customisation
Arjen> anyway, as they're the experts. As long as the service is good.
Arjen> There's also no incentive to like republish stuff, as that  
>> wouldn't be
Arjen> the core business of the client company. They wouldn't have  
>> interest
Arjen> in that.

What you are talking is about a company that is working in the service
sector, not a company that makes a living doing software and gets
valuated based on it having license revenues.  The valuation for a
service company is about 2x times the revenue while a software company
with license revenue is valued 10x times the revenue.

>> If you are successful, there is always someone who will take  
>> advantage of you...

Arjen> Some will, so be it.
Arjen> They'd have to be a customer first to do this (with the above example)  
Arjen> and you wouldn't keep them as a customer anyway, so there's no real  
Arjen> loss.

Yes, there is a real loss as you have lost your IP and thus lost your
main revenue stream.

Arjen> In general, people will act properly - particularly if the environment  
Arjen> is *perceived* as fair to them.

This doesn't apply for someone that is creating a software business
with the intention to some day sell it and make a nice profit.

>> Look for example at MySQL;  If they would license their GPL code as
>> BSD, they would at once loose all their licensing business.

Arjen> Good. I wish Sun/MySQL all the best and success, and for their own  
Arjen> good their old licensing has to cease.
Arjen> It is still causing a lot of bad publicity.

This has nothing to do with GPL or getting profit by selling licenses
under a dual license scheme.  It's a well established and even
respected business when working with Open Source software.

Arjen> It also rips off users/clients, because unscrupulus Sun/MySQL sales  
Arjen> people selling licenses where none are required.

Agree that this is a problem and something a respectable company
should not do.  It's exactly because I wanted to make a stand against
some of the Sun practices in selling licenses that I added the
clarification of how I see that Monty Program Ab will work with code
that is donated to the MariaDB project.a

Arjen> By stopping it, this would make a clear statement that Sun does not  
Arjen> support that kind of behaviour.

You mean stop trying to sell things under a false pretences?
I agree with that.

Arjen> It's no longer part of a legitimate business model, it's turned out as  
Arjen> a devious scam.

I disagree with that. The fact that some people are doing things
wrong, doesn't mean that the business model is wrong.

It would be the same thing as saying that you should not sell used
cars, because some used cars sells persons has a poor reputation.

Arjen> Furthermore, people *perceive* it as a scam, and thus it's not  
Arjen> interesting for you or I to be doing something similar.

Arjen> "Dual Licensing" in the sphere of MySQL is a no-winner. Just drop it  
Arjen> and lead by example.

I lead by example by making the rules more clear. Dual Licensing is
still one of the best way to make money in the Open Source space (and
in many cases the ONLY WAY you can make enough money to create a
workable business), so there is no need to go away from it.