Squiz bows to GPL pressure

Squiz bows to GPL pressure

Summary: Local software vendor Squiz has re-licensed its MySource Matrix tool under the popular GNU General Public License (GPL), nearly two years after facing criticism the software's previous licence wasn't "open" enough. MySource Matrix is a content management system (CMS) used within the Australian government, in addition to commercial entities such as Austereo.

SHARE:
Local software vendor Squiz has re-licensed its MySource Matrix tool under the popular GNU General Public License (GPL), nearly two years after facing criticism the software's previous licence wasn't "open" enough.

MySource Matrix is a content management system (CMS) used within the Australian government, in addition to commercial entities such as Austereo. The GPL is the most popular licence for open source tools -- which make their underlying programming code freely available to users.

In April 2005, the federal government used MySource Matrix to demonstrate the viability of open source software compared with more closed, commercial alternatives. But the move subsequently came under fire due to terms in MySource Matrix's custom licence which could have precluded the software from officially being classified as open source.

A statement issued by Squiz today said the decision to bring the software's licence into line was based on the GPL's "acceptance by the majority of the open source community as the 'purest' of the various open source licensing regimes".

"Many in the international community see GPL as the defining characteristic of open source -- what makes open source 'free'," Squiz said.

As with some other commercially produced open source software such as the MySQL database, Squiz will also offer a second version of the software under a commercial licence, for a fee.

The commercial version of the software will be identical to the open source version, but will bundle support services and some add-on modules -- although the extra software will be available at no additional cost to Squiz's government, education and not-for-profit clients.

Squiz will release version 3.12 of MySource Matrix under the GPL. "This new version includes more than 80 new features and a series of extensions that were previously only available as commercial modules under a paid-for licence," it said.

Squiz's statement also claimed the GPL decision illustrated that the open source development model could be followed as a successful commercial strategy -- instead of the traditional development paradigm which requires source code to be kept private and sold for a fee.

"Looking ahead, instead of licensing fees, we will continue to sell support services which include warranty, help-desk support and uptime guarantees to organisations that need this level of certainty, whilst other MySource Matrix users can choose to develop and support the product for themselves if that is what they prefer," Squiz director and co-founder Steve Barker said.

Squiz claims around 100 staff located throughout Australia, New Zealand and England.

Topics: Open Source, Enterprise Software, Software

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

0 comments
Log in or register to start the discussion