In order to get more mileage from their efforts I'm seeing more and more open source companies adopt a hybrid model. (The shirt shows a mule train pulling a car. Available from Muledesign.)
Hybrid licensing comes in three flavors:
- An open source developer holds out some code as proprietary. Medsphere is doing this.
- An open source developer sells an enhanced "pro" version of their code. Pentaho does this.
- An open source developer offers a commercial license to customers who don't want the obligation of donating code back to the project. OpenClovis does this.
I don't believe any of this violates an open source principle because there is no such thing. Open source is a business movement rather than a political or business movement. FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) developers choose to have principles. Open source developers prefer to eat.
The hybrid model adds a third dimension to the open source incline. The idea is that you stand at the corner of sharing and self-interest. You can adjust license terms to gain more support, or you can offer different terms to different customers in the name of self-interest.
Got a problem with that?[poll id=16]