When people hear other people talk about “The Annoying Thing”, most probably the first thing that pops into their mind is the below video:
However, today I’d like to refer to another annoying phenom, the one that I call: “letting the piss get to your head – even if you didn’t do anything or contribute to anything!”.
As I am a consultant, I work with a multitude of customers, each one with their own craziness and weirdness. Now, there is nothing wrong with being weird or crazy, but being out blunt rude and insulting, that’s something completely different. For example, when I walk into a meeting, I have the best interest of my customer in mind, however, when that customer mistakes my willingness to assist and promote his company, mistakes that willingness to being a sucker – that’s annoying.
Why would an IP carrier tell something in the form of: “Haaaa… Are you kidding? they need to pay me for using their product, I’m promoting it!” – that’s plain rude. Fuck man, your founders built your entire company on this product, when they raised VC money and charged money from their customers, the makers of the product (an open source one), didn’t make a dime of from you. That statement is blunt out RUDE!
I think that the best option would be to go about an establish inside the Open Source license model a statement that says: “If the GPL product is used in conjunction with a service, that surpasses the size of X concurrent/registered users, the product shall no longer be considered a GPL product – but a comercially licensed product, requiring the user to pay royalties to the creator”. Why is this a good thing? – very simple, sustainability of Open Source. In one of my previous posts, I talked about the sustainability of Open Source – defining the border when a usage of an Open Source product is considered commercial – and requires a form of royalty payment to the project’s maintainer/creator is a crucial element in making sure the project continues and evolves.
Imagine for example, that the Apache foundation didn’t exist. The foundation supports and funds (partially) the development behind the Apache web server project and related projects. The project is capable of sustaining itself, as companies which are making commercial usage of Apache are taking an active part in the funding of the project. With the Apache project, there was no need for a definition of “Commerical Use”, as the Apache project started from a Commercial need. Other projects start from non-Commercial needs, but evolve into Commercial products – that case needs to be addressed.