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re: Open source creators: Red Hat got $34 billion and you got $0. Here's why. VIEW POST


Hi Donald, thanks for the detailed explanation!

To play the devil's advocate: RedHat is also in the business of doing a thing that a lot of OS developers don't want to do or are not equipped to do (and you mentioned it): maintaing the code forever and ever (or at least til the terms in the agreement).

Back in the days (many years ago), when I was active in the local .NET community and open source wasn't much of a thing in the Microsoft world, I had a conversation many with a Microsoft MVP who hated open source. I was already playing with Python and other opensource tools and he wasn't impressed. What he told me is that he disliked open source because him and the company he worked for wanted (I'm serious) "someone to sue if things went south". Most OS developers are not incorporated and some companies, sadly, would rather rewrite the tool from scratch (or steal it without you knowing it) then to have to deal with a freelance "nobody".

What you guys doing at Tidelift is very interesting and much needed :-).

I wonder if there's also some evolution in the landscape of licensing models because I feel there has to be some improvement there too. What do you think?


I do think there is plenty of room for innovation with licenses. On the other hand, I fear that many of the recent "new license" discussions have been attempts to solve a business model problem with legal technology, while there may be simpler and more constructive approaches. My Tidelift co-founder Luis Villa wrote on this topic recently here, in case you're interested to check out another perspective.


Yeah I agree with you and your co-founder. Adding license confusion is not the solution. Changing a license means getting the company lawyers involved which makes it more work for the company which doesn't really help anyone.

Maybe Redis Labs is able to pull it off because Redis is such a pervasive (and sometimes essential) tool in software stacks, but it won't work for everyone.

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