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Open Source & Open Development

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Open Source & Open Development

  1. 1. Open Source & Open Development Sander van der Waal sander.vanderwaal@oucs.ox.ac.uk
  2. 2. Agenda  OSS Watch  Open Source & Open Development  Case studies of successful open source projects  Break  Copyright, policy, licensing and governance  Business models for open source  Case studies for commercial success with open source
  3. 3. OSS Watch – What we do  Advise on all things open source  Services  Consultancies, events, presentations  Project support – community development  Software sustainability beyond funding  Core services free to HE / FE in the UK
  4. 4. Find out more! osswatch.jiscinvolve.org newsletter.oss-watch.ac.uk www.oss-watch.ac.uk
  5. 5. What is Free and Open Source Software?  Software that the user has the right to adapt and distribute  Access to the source code  Often available at minimal or no cost  Often maintained and developed by a community  Increasingly high public profile and market share (Linux, Apache httpd, Firefox, OpenOffice.org, Android (mostly))  Basis of later open licences like Creative Commons and Open Database License
  6. 6. Some History Until the late 1970s most software thought to have little intrinsic value Exchange of software and its source code normal (with licences that allowed adaptation and redistribution) Arrival of personal computers in the mid 1970s changed the perception of software's value Software became productized, source code kept private Many developers, particularly within academic communities, felt that this was detrimental to software quality
  7. 7. “The amount of royalties we have received from sales to hobbyists makes the time spent [on] Altair BASIC worth less than $2 an hour. Why is this? As the majority of hobbyists must be aware, most of you steal your software. Hardware must be paid for, but software is something to share. Who cares if the people who worked on it get paid?” Bill Gates Computer Notes 1976
  8. 8. “I consider that the golden rule requires that if I like a program I must share it with other people who like it. Software sellers want to divide the users and conquer them, making each user agree not to share with others. I refuse to break solidarity with other users in this way… So that I can continue to use computers without dishonor, I have decided to put together a sufficient body of free software so that I will be able to get along without any software that is not free.” Richard Stallman, GNU Manifesto, 1985
  9. 9. The FSF's Four Freedoms The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0). The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this. The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).  The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  10. 10. “Linux is subversive. Who would have thought even five years ago (1991) that a world-class operating system could coalesce as if by magic out of part-time hacking by several thousand developers scattered all over the planet, connected only by the tenuous strands of the Internet?” Eric Raymond, The Cathedral and the Bazaar, 1996-7
  11. 11. Open Source Initiative  In early 1998 Netscape decides to release the source code of its struggling web browser to the world  Raymond's apolitical, business-friendly explanation of the virtues of the Free Software ought to have an advocacy group  In February 1998 the Open Source Initiative is founded, with Raymond as its first president.  The term 'Open Source' begins to be widely used. The OSI adapts the Debian Free Software Guidelines to define what it means by ‘Open Source’  The resulting Open Source Definition gives ten criteria for an ‘open source’ licence
  12. 12. Open Source Definition Freely Redistributable Source Code Included Derived Works Permitted Integrity of Author’s Source Code (diffs and patches) No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavour Distribution of Licence (no additional licences required) D Licence Must Not Be Specific to a Product (or distribution) Licence Must Not Restrict Other Software Licence Must Be Technology-Neutral (no 'click wrap') L
  13. 13. Open Source Initiative  Over seventy licences are accredited by the OSI as meeting these criteria The most commonly used are the BSD (permissive) and the GPL (copyleft) T The sheer number of OSI-approved licences is officially considered a problem For practical purposes OSS Watch defines its remit with reference to the OSI approved licence list
  14. 14. Words and Tensions Many ‘Free Software’ supporters, including Richard Stallman, see the OSI as a deliberate attempt to appropriate their movement while stripping it of its political aims. The language itself has become politicised Whether one says ‘Free’ or ‘Open’ has become an indicator of which ‘side’ one supports  The unwieldy phrase ‘Free and Open Source Software’ is used by those who do not wish to take sides Stallman also campaigns against use of the phrase ‘intellectual property’
  15. 15. Open development is… “Open source is a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process.” - http://www.opensource.org/  A way for distributed team members to collaboratively develop a shared resource
  16. 16. Open development is…  Particularly useful in distributed self selecting teams  Very common in open source projects  Key attributes include:  User engagement  Transparency  Collaboration  Agility
  17. 17. Open development is agile…  Many agile practices evolved from or alongside open development, e.g.  Collective code ownership  Incremental design and architecture  Real customer involvement  Revision Control
  18. 18. Open development is Not agile…  Some Agile methods are not appropriate  e.g. Does not require co-location  Does allow anyone to participate  NOTE: this does not mean that anyone has the right to modify open source code in the core repository
  19. 19. Platform for collaboration  Using the common tools in open projects:  Mailing Lists / Forums for communication  Website / blog / wiki  Issue tracker  Version Control System (GIT, SVN, Mercurial)  Community development
  20. 20. Open Development is managed  Progression through project roles  User -> Contributor -> Committer -> Maintainer  Governance  How are decisions made?  How are conflicts resolved?  How do you gain influence?  IPR management
  21. 21. Case studies of successful open source / open development
  22. 22. TexGen • Textile CAD modeller • Developed at Nottingham’s Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing • Generate geometric models of textiles and their composites
  23. 23. Why open source TexGen? • People can download TexGen and use it for free • Better level of both knowledge transfer and verification • Encourage third-party use / citation • Potential for collaboration • IPR issues are simplified
  24. 24. Why not commercialise traditionally? • Limited commercial value • Commercial customers would expect support • Small market - casual use does not occur • All development has to be undertaken in-house • Danger of inhibiting research collaborations
  25. 25. Results • Over 5,000 downloads on SourceForge • Collaborations with previously unknown partners • Renewal of EPSRC's prestigious Platform Grant in 2009 • Investment from commercial companies such as Boeing • In total approximately £1m research income
  26. 26. Lessons learned • High ROI to open source code • Excellent marketing • Free publicity of research group’s expertise • Opportunity to create new partnerships • There’s no one single way of doing it • Best application of open innovation in software • Funders love it
  27. 27. Apache Wookie (incubating)…  Server for uploading and deploying widgets  Implementation of emerging W3C standard  Extracted from larger EU project context as a discrete project  A good fit with Apache Software Foundation  Already some interest from outside the project
  28. 28. Networking opportunities • ASF community • Other interested projects • Mobile apps/widgets community • Android community • W3C Social Web XG
  29. 29. New Partnerships
  30. 30. Results • Very substantial value added by community • Income generated for next 3 years: ~£700k from two FP7 projects • Only actually core funded from Dec 09-Sep10 @ 0.2FTE (around £12k) • Stepping stone to Apache Rave (Incubating)
  31. 31. Rave: ecosystem of projects
  32. 32. Legal aspects of open source
  33. 33. Copyright... is a form of 'intellectual property'  is an unregistered right – it comes into existence at the same time that the work is 'fixed' protects the 'fixed' form of an idea, not the idea itself protects literary and artistic material, music, films, sound recordings and broadcasts, including software and multimedia generally does not protect works that are 'insubstantial' – thus names and t titles are not protected (although a 'passing off' action may be a possibility) gives the author exclusive economic and moral rights over the copyrighted material
  34. 34. What exclusive economic rights do copyright owners have? Making copies Issuing copies to the public (publication, performing, broadcasting, online distribution) Renting or lending copies Adapting the work
  35. 35. What exclusive moral rights do copyright owners have? In the case of software, none. Unlike other creators of literary works, software authors have no statutory protection against derogatory treatment of their code or automatic right to be identified as the author of their code
  36. 36. When does copyright in software expire under UK law? For literary works including software: 70 years after the death of the author  Calculating copyright expiry is made more complex by the fact that the duration has changed over the last 20 years. Luckily in the case of software its novelty and relatively short shelf-life mitigate this.
  37. 37. What can I do with my copyright material? Sell it (assign it) – transfer ownership of your rights License it – grant use of your rights, possibly for a limited period or within a limited geographical area.
  38. 38. A word about patents Not at all the same thing Generally OSS licensing of code is incompatible with the exploitation of software patents embodied in the code in question European Patent Convention 1973 Article 52: “(1) European patents shall be granted for any inventions which are susceptible of industrial application, which are new and which involve an inventive step. (2) The following in particular shall not be regarded as inventions within the meaning of paragraph 1: ... (c) schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business, and programs for computers;”
  39. 39. A word about patents In fact, over the last 20 years this exclusion has been rendered moot by repeated approval of patents by the EPO and national patent-granting bodies which are, in effect, for software. Symbian’s recent win in the High Court against the Intellectual Property Office seems to indicate that software patents are now obtainable in the UK Despite this, there seems to be a general reluctance to litigate in support of these patents in Europe.
  40. 40. How FOSS Licensing Works... What is a FOSS Licence?  A licence to exercise rights normally reserved to the author by copyright law  Consistent with Open Source Definition (or Four Freedoms)  Either explicitly perpetual or practically so  A licence which offers a grant of rights to anyone
  41. 41. How FOSS Licensing Works... How does copyright law protect FOSS software? No explicit communicated acceptance necessary Copyright law effectively prevents copying, adaptation and distribution of copyright material without a licence FOSS licences provide an avenue to licensed use if the user abides by the conditions Without the licence, it is likely no permission exists, and the author can take action for copyright infringement Generally considered to work, but little case law
  42. 42. How FOSS Licensing Works... How do FOSS Licences deal with patents? Some licences (Apache 2, Nokia, Microsoft Reciprocal Licence and many others) explicitly grant rights to licensor's patents that are necessarily infringed by use or distribution Even those that do not will grant implied licences (in some jurisdictions) by permitting acts that would require a patent licence Some licences terminate their patent grants if the licensee initiates patent infringement litigation against the licensor
  43. 43. Varieties of FOSS Licence: Permissive  Allow inclusion in non-FOSS software  Suitable where widest uptake is desirable  Examples of permissive licences are:  Modified BSD  MIT  Academic Free  Apache Software Licence
  44. 44. Varieties of FOSS Licence: Copyleft  Derivative works, if distributed, must use same licence  Cannot be incorporated into non-FOSS products  Suitable when desire is to legally enforce FOSS status  Examples of copyleft licences:  GNU General Public License  Open Software License  Common Development and Distribution License
  45. 45. Partial Copyleft  Derivative works, if distributed, use same licence May be incorporated into non-FOSS products Suitable in order to keep a portion of the work FOSS  compromise between full copyleft and permissive Examples of weak or partial copyleft licences:  GNU Lesser General Public License  Mozilla Public License  Eclipse Public License
  46. 46. Varieties of FOSS Licence: Badgeware  Only one 'badgeware' OSI-approved licence  Common Public Attribution License  Adaptation of Mozilla Public License (partial copyleft)  Derivative must prominently display original author's details or organisation at runtime.
  47. 47. How to choose a licence? Only considering popular licences? Copyleft vs. Permissive? How to deal with patents? Jurisdiction?
  48. 48. Copyright Ownership Models • Centralised ownership • Copyright is owned by the project owner • Contributors assign copyright to project owner • Project owner releases under chosen FOSS licence • Aggregated ownership • Copyright owned by original authors • Contributors license their code to project owner • Project owner releases under chosen FOSS licence
  49. 49. Copyright Ownership Models A Flawed Copyright Ownership model •Distributed ownership •Contributions individually licenced as FOSS •Common in the academic world •Collaboration Agreements Don't use this model •Legal action against infringers hard to coordinate •Legal action against project requires coordination from defendants •Outbound licence changes require agreement from all
  50. 50. Contributor Agreements and Governance • Contributor Licence Agreements (CLA) required • Solve problems of distributed ownership • Can be a barrier to contribution so keep them simple • Well-run projects need a clear contribution policy • what agreement is needed? • who can commit? • who decides what code is included in the release? • And more.. • info@oss-watch.ac.uk
  51. 51. Employees, Academics and Contractors • Who owns “internal” contributions? • Employment contracts • IP Policies • Consultancy contracts • Default position is that: • Employers own employees work • Contractors own their own work • Academics often own their copyrighted work • See contract and policies
  52. 52. An example policy: Oxford • Release form from Research Services • Straight-forward assessment of components written and used • Sent to legal team • Also sent to our technology transfer unit ISIS Innovation • Departmental policy for Oxford University Computing Services • Staff members may contribute code to foundations • Central registry of projects contributed to • Contributor Licence Agreements may be signed if needed • Example: Apache Software Foundation
  53. 53. Making sure your code is releasable  Strongly consider obtaining contributor licence agreements  Keep track of your inbound licences and what they oblige you to d do (licence compatibility)  Keep track of the employment/consultancy agreements of contributors, including all institutional regulations that they import  Keep track of funding conditions associated with contributors  Use versioning system as a basis for this record-keeping  Establish what (if any) patents might be obtainable in relation to the work, and plan your code accordingly  Assess your competition and your risk
  54. 54. Business models around open source
  55. 55. Business and Sustainability Models  These are mostly not mutually exclusive, and will most often be used in combination as appropriate – more accurately they are elements of business models  This is still an emerging area of business practice  Some of the current success of FOSS software exploitation techniques may be attributable to dissatisfaction with more traditional proprietary techniques and their associated big-name vendors, rather than any innate superiority  It remains to be seen whether the current global financial difficulties will help FOSS business or hinder it. Analysts are currently predicting both.
  56. 56. First - what you cannot / should not do  Charge for licences for specific uses of your code, for example commercial use (Open Source Definition point 6)  Charge for licences in general (Possible but subject to low/zero-cost competition from all recipients)  Tweak an existing FOSS licence for your purposes and still call your software Free Software or Open Source Software (Strong community rejection of these practices)  Silently incorporate FOSS software in your proprietary offering without abiding by the licence conditions (detection is likely, and although legal damages are unlikely, damage to reputation is certain)
  57. 57. Academic Community Development  FOSS licensing permits a varied group of contributors to work on software that addresses a particular problem domain.  Institutions and their academics can gain public profile by contributing to such projects and becoming associated with respected tools in specific areas of research. It can also help ensure the continued existence of useful solutions.  Examples include BioImage Suite (biological image analysis software) YARP (experimental robotics software) and The Versioning Machine (software for aligning differing versions of xml-encoded texts).  Recognition for work on academic tools is still, however, some way behind more traditional forms of academic recognition for publication etc
  58. 58. Establishing a separate legal entity  Adds to sustainability by isolating risks (IP infringement, event organisation, damages from failure) from the parent institution  Facilitates donation of money and simplifies tax issues  Most research institutions are already well-practised in setting up spin-out companies. In the case of sustaining FOSS projects some kind of not-for- profit entity may be just as or even more appropriate  Such an entity can still have an affiliated commercial entity engaged in exploiting the software and the brands that it stewards
  59. 59. Moving into an external foundation  The benefits of foundation status have led to the establishment of umbrella foundations holding multiple FOSS projects.  Examples include the Apache Software Foundation, which supports Apache HTTP Server, Cocoon, Lucene, Software in the Public Interest, which supports the Debian Linux distribution and PostgreSQL, and the Software Freedom Conservancy, home to Samba, Busybox and Wine  Entering an umbrella foundation can radically reduce running costs for projects that receive financial donations, as the foundation will handle the necessary book-keeping, as well as providing the risk management benefits that come with separating legal responsibility for a project from your host institution
  60. 60. 'Community Source' Foundations  Where a number of separate institutions see a benefit in jointly developing a piece of FOSS, they can adopt a model which has come to be known, somewhat confusingly, as 'Community Source'  Each institution contributes resources to developing the code, the ownership of which rests in an external foundation  In the initial phases the code may be unavailable outside the foundation, although it will eventually be released under a FOSS licence  Contributing resources to the foundation buys institutions early code access and influence on the governance of the project and its functionality  Mellon-funded projects Sakai and Kuali both began using this model
  61. 61. Consultancy  Consultancy is another traditional technique for educational institutions looking to financially exploit their resources  A more traditional model might be to sell licences to a piece of research- derived software and sell consultancy services and/or bespoke development services alongside it  Potentially a FOSS release of the software can improve uptake, given its low cost of acquisition, and drive the market for associated consultancy and development services more successfully than the traditional model
  62. 62. Internal Cost Reduction  Institutions may be happy to sustain an internally-developed FOSS project themselves if the project can demonstrate that it drives down the running costs of that institution or solves an institutional problem  Projects that reduce costs in one institution may have good potential, when mature, to be deployed in others. This provides opportunities for paid consultancy and/or provision of the software as a service (see below)
  63. 63. Provision of Paid Support / Documentation  Just because your code is freely available, it does not mean that the documentation or your help needs to be (as with the consultancy and bespoke development model)  Support can be provided in time- or incident-limited bundles  Support can be in the form of guaranteed performance on specific hardware  Documentation can take the form of paid access to a knowledge base of previously resolved issues  HOWEVER, in this case one is in competition with the software's user base/community, who may be willing to provide peer support for free
  64. 64. Integration / Managed Upgrades  Managing the integration of various FOSS technologies, with their varying dependencies and release cycles, is a service that people are prepared to pay for  Similarly managing the deployment of upgrade patches can be a paid service  Bundles of tested, integrated FOSS software can be sold along with, potentially, support agreements  HOWEVER, close integration may trigger responsibilities in particularly copyleft licences that could prevent integrated distribution – read the licences
  65. 65. Competitor Disruption  Sometimes a FOSS alternative to a competitor's product can disrupt their business model and provide competitive advantage (although this is almost never the sole motivation behind the release or distribution)  Examples (arguably) include Sun's OpenOffice.org, Google's bundling and distribution of Microsoft-competing software such as OpenOffice.org, Firefox and Chrome (the 'Google Pack'), Netscape Corporation's FOSS release of Netscape Navigator
  66. 66. Software as a Service  Increasingly consumers are becoming comfortable with so-called 'cloud'- based software offerings – software that is accessed and used over the internet, and which stores data remotely from the user  SaaS can be a useful solution to the problem of institutionally developed software that relies integrally on copyleft-licensed code  Provision of service using copyleft software does not count as distribution, and thus does not trigger copyleft's reciprocal licensing responsibilities  HOWEVER – this is a known 'bug' in copyleft licensing, and licences such as the GNU Affero GPL v3 are already in existence to 'fix' it.
  67. 67. Advertising / Referral  Your software or accompanying web site may be able to direct network traffic to an entity that is willing to pay for hits (although of course this functionality can always be engineered out by technically apt users)  This is Mozilla Foundation's main source of income  Firefox's built-in search box directs queries to Google  The vast majority of Mozilla Foundation's revenue ($132m in 2010) comes from Google under this deal.  Wordpress, the FOSS blogging software and hosting platform is partly funding their parent company Automattic through this model
  68. 68. Training and Accreditation  As well as support and consultancy, generalised training documents, courses and qualifications may be viable products  Control of an associated trademark enables the provision of 'X-Certified Professional' style programmes  Actual training and examination are readily out-sourced
  69. 69. Trademark Licensing / Merchandising  Just because your code is available under a FOSS licence, you do not have to permit universal use of your project's name and associated symbols  Unlike copyright, trademarks are a registered form of IP, meaning that you have to apply to relevant government agencies for ownership. However, compared to patent application, trademark registration is relatively inexpensive  Owning your trademark facilitates the sale of associated merchandise and accreditation and marks like “Powered by X” and “Using X technology”  Can be a deterrent to forking if the brand is strong enough – the motivation to increase personal reputation by providing functionality outside project “X” is partially undermined by the inability to call the new project “Improved X”
  70. 70. Proprietary Versions and Components  Sometimes referred to disparagingly as the 'Bait and Switch' model  A FOSS edition of software is offered which lacks some of the functionality of a paid edition, either throughout its code or in the form of missing proprietary components  While the existence of better-supported or hardware-accredited forms of FOSS offerings is generally accepted by the FOSS community, proprietary components and versions are less well-liked (although there is perhaps growing acceptance as the community matures)  HOWEVER, this is another example of competing with the community. The FOSS model means that anyone can produce freely available versions of your paid functionality, given enough time and expertise
  71. 71. Dual Licensing  Provided that you have the necessary ownership or sub-licensing rights over your project's code, you can provide it under differing licences  In the classic case, these would be a copyleft licence and a paid proprietary licence  Customers who wish to build software product incorporating your code and who do not wish to use the copyleft licence must pay for the proprietary licence  This is therefore most suitable for code which is readily susceptible to inclusion within commercial software products, for example database backends
  72. 72. Case studies
  73. 73. Example: Cranfield University  Library developed a survey tool based on Plone  Released as open source in 2006  Development has occurred internationally  Africa, North America, India and Europe  Eg. a major contribution from a South African company  Cranfield recognised within Plone community  Get development effort back  Ability to provide consultancy services
  74. 74. Moodle at ULCC - A Shared Service Success www.ulcc.ac.uk
  75. 75. Facts & Figures www.ulcc.ac.uk
  76. 76. # of Moodle / Mahara Instances www.ulcc.ac.uk
  77. 77. # of Moodle / Mahara customers & instances 2011 www.ulcc.ac.uk
  78. 78. # Registered Moodle users www.ulcc.ac.uk
  79. 79. Moodle Activity* *Moodle activity is defined as any form of accessing, uploading and editing content by a registers ULCC Moodle user www.ulcc.ac.uk
  80. 80. Average Activity (Activity per user) *Moodle activity is defined as any form of accessing, uploading and editing content by a registers ULCC Moodle user www.ulcc.ac.uk
  81. 81. ULCC’s Personalised Learning Framework www.ulcc.ac.uk
  82. 82. Personlised Learning Framework Assessmen t Portfolio VLE PLP Portal www.ulcc.ac.uk
  83. 83. ULCC’s e-Learning portfolio www.ulcc.ac.uk
  84. 84. ULCC’s e-Learning portfolio www.ulcc.ac.uk
  85. 85. The wider ecosystem www.ulcc.ac.uk
  86. 86. ULCC’s e-Learning Service • Hosting Levels (1-7) and support that fit your requirements • PRINCE2 project management support for transition of VLE • 24/7 customer support • Integration with your existing IT systems (SITS, Agresso, Talis, etc.) • Individual and bespoke staff training to maximise VLE usage • Pro-active management of software upgrades • Active customer community to share best practice and experience www.ulcc.ac.uk
  87. 87. Our Customers www.ulcc.ac.uk
  88. 88. Partners/ Affiliates www.ulcc.ac.uk
  89. 89. ULCC’s successful open source strategy  Share code and expertise with Moodle community  Build reputation in Moodle development  Successful service model  Now recognised team  Hosted MoodleMoot 2010 and 2011
  90. 90. Do get in touch: info@oss-watch.ac.uk http://www.oss-watch.ac.uk @osswatch

Notas do Editor

  • In 1985, as a reaction to the growing trend towards ‘closed source’ software, MIT Artificial Intelligence researcher Richard Stallman wrote a new software licence His licence (the GNU General Public Licence or GPL) permitted free redistribution and adaptation by anyone but mandated that derivative works must carry the same licence (“copyleft”) Stallman also founds the Free Software Foundation (FSF) in 1985, committed to maintaining software 'Freedom' as both a pragmatic and political aim Unfortunately, in English, this use of 'Free' is widely thought to refer to price, not liberty (free beer vs free speech) Echoing President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1941 ‘ Four Freedoms ’ speech, Stallman created four software-related freedoms that his organisation sought to protect. Being a computer programmer, Stallman started his numbering from ‘0’
  • In 1991, a Finnish computer science student called Linus Torvalds starts working on Linux , a Unix-like operating system that will run on IBM-PCs and is licensed under the GPL v2 Over the next five years, Torvalds builds a fully functioning Unix operating system with help from other remote programmers leveraging the power of the internet and the freedom to adapt and redistribute provided by FOSS licensing In 1997 programmer Eric Raymond publishes an essay called 'The Cathedral and The Bazaar '
  • Yet More History In early 1998, partly as a result of the success of Raymond's essay, Netscape decides to release the source code of its struggling web browser to the world Some within the Free Software community decide that Raymond's apolitical, business-friendly explanation of the virtues of the Free Software ought to have an advocacy group In February 1998 the Open Source Initiative is founded, with Raymond as its first president. The term 'Open Source' begins to be widely used.
  • Business and Sustainability Models These are mostly not mutually exclusive, and will most often be used in combination as appropriate – more accurately they are elements of business models This is still an emerging area of business practice Some of the current success of FOSS software exploitation techniques may be attributable to dissatisfaction with more traditional proprietary techniques and their associated big-name vendors, rather than any innate superiority It remains to be seen whether the current global financial difficulties will help FOSS business or hinder it. Analysts are currently predicting both.
  • First - what you cannot / should not do Charge for licences for specific uses of your code, for example commercial use (Open Source Definition point 6) Charge for licences in general (Possible but subject to low/zero-cost competition from all recipients) Tweak an existing FOSS licence for your purposes and still call your software Free Software or Open Source Software (Strong community rejection of these practices) Silently incorporate FOSS software in your proprietary offering without abiding by the licence conditions (detection is likely, and although legal damages are unlikely, damage to reputation is certain)
  • Academic Community Development FOSS licensing permits a varied group of contributors to work on software that addresses a particular problem domain. Institutions and their academics can gain public profile by contributing to such projects and becoming associated with respected tools in specific areas of research. It can also help ensure the continued existence of useful solutions. Examples include BioImage Suite (biological image analysis software) YARP (experimental robotics software) and The Versioning Machine (software for aligning differing versions of xml-encoded texts). Recognition for work on academic tools is still, however, some way behind more traditional forms of academic recognition for publication etc
  • Establishing a separate legal entity Adds to sustainability by isolating risks (IP infringement, event organisation, damages from failure) from the parent institution Facilitates donation of money and simplifies tax issues Most research institutions are already well-practised in setting up spin-out companies. In the case of sustaining FOSS projects some kind of not-for-profit entity may be just as or even more appropriate Such an entity can still have an affiliated commercial entity engaged in exploiting the software and the brands that it stewards
  • Moving into an external foundation The benefits of foundation status have led to the establishment of umbrella foundations holding multiple FOSS projects. Examples include the Apache Software Foundation , which supports Apache HTTP Server, Cocoon, Lucene, Software in the Public Interest, which supports the Debian Linux distribution and PostgreSQL, and the Software Freedom Conservancy , home to Samba, Busybox and Wine Entering an umbrella foundation can radically reduce running costs for projects that receive financial donations, as the foundation will handle the necessary book-keeping, as well as providing the risk management benefits that come with separating legal responsibility for a project from your host institution
  • 'Community Source' Foundations Where a number of separate institutions see a benefit in jointly developing a piece of FOSS, they can adopt a model which has come to be known, somewhat confusingly, as 'Community Source' Each institution contributes resources to developing the code, the ownership of which rests in an external foundation In the initial phases the code may be unavailable outside the foundation, although it will eventually be released under a FOSS licence Contributing resources to the foundation buys institutions early code access and influence on the governance of the project and its functionality Mellon-funded projects Sakai and Kuali both began using this model
  • Consultancy Consultancy is another traditional technique for educational institutions looking to financially exploit their resources A more traditional model might be to sell licences to a piece of research-derived software and sell consultancy services and/or bespoke development services alongside it Potentially a FOSS release of the software can improve uptake, given its low cost of acquisition, and drive the market for associated consultancy and development services more successfully than the traditional model
  • Internal Cost Reduction Institutions may be happy to sustain an internally-developed FOSS project themselves if the project can demonstrate that it drives down the running costs of that institution or solves an institutional problem Projects that reduce costs in one institution may have good potential, when mature, to be deployed in others. This provides opportunities for paid consultancy and/or provision of the software as a service (see below)
  • Provision of Paid Support / Documentation Just because your code is freely available, it does not mean that the documentation or your help needs to be (as with the consultancy and bespoke development model) Support can be provided in time- or incident-limited bundles Support can be in the form of guaranteed performance on specific hardware Documentation can take the form of paid access to a knowledge base of previously resolved issues HOWEVER, in this case one is in competition with the software's user base/community, who may be willing to provide peer support for free
  • Integration / Managed Upgrades Managing the integration of various FOSS technologies, with their varying dependencies and release cycles, is a service that people are prepared to pay for Similarly managing the deployment of upgrade patches can be a paid service Bundles of tested, integrated FOSS software can be sold along with, potentially, support agreements HOWEVER, close integration may trigger responsibilities in particularly copyleft licences that could prevent integrated distribution – read the licences
  • Competitor Disruption Sometimes a FOSS alternative to a competitor's product can disrupt their business model and provide competitive advantage (although this is almost never the sole motivation behind the release or distribution) Examples (arguably) include Sun 's OpenOffice.org, Google 's bundling and distribution of Microsoft-competing software such as OpenOffice.org, Firefox and Chrome (the 'Google Pack'), Netscape Corporation 's FOSS release of Netscape Navigator
  • Software as a Service Increasingly consumers are becoming comfortable with so-called 'cloud'-based software offerings – software that is accessed and used over the internet, and which stores data remotely from the user SaaS can be a useful solution to the problem of institutionally developed software that relies integrally on copyleft-licensed code Provision of service using copyleft software does not count as distribution, and thus does not trigger copyleft's reciprocal licensing responsibilities HOWEVER – this is a known 'bug' in copyleft licensing, and licences such as the GNU Affero GPL v3 are already in existence to 'fix' it.
  • Advertising / Referral Your software or accompanying web site may be able to direct network traffic to an entity that is willing to pay for hits (although of course this functionality can always be engineered out by technically apt users) This is Mozilla Foundation 's main source of income Firefox 's built-in search box directs queries to Google In 2007 'the vast majority' of Mozilla Foundation 's $75m revenue came from Google under this deal. They are now being investigate by the US IRS Wordpress , the FOSS blogging software and hosting platform raised $29.5 million in its last round of investment and is expected to move to this business model in the future
  • Training and Accreditation As well as support and consultancy, generalised training documents, courses and qualifications may be viable products Control of an associated trademark enables the provision of ' X-Certified Professional' style programmes Actual training and examination are readily out-sourced
  • Trademark Licensing / Merchandising Just because your code is available under a FOSS licence, you do not have to permit universal use of your project's name and associated symbols Unlike copyright, trademarks are a registered form of IP, meaning that you have to apply to relevant government agencies for ownership. However, compared to patent application, trademark registration is relatively inexpensive Owning your trademark facilitates the sale of associated merchandise and accreditation and marks like “Powered by X” and “Using X technology” Can be a deterrent to forking if the brand is strong enough – the motivation to increase personal reputation by providing functionality outside project “ X” is partially undermined by the inability to call the new project “Improved X”
  • Proprietary Versions and Components Sometimes referred to disparagingly as the 'Bait and Switch' model A FOSS edition of software is offered which lacks some of the functionality of a paid edition, either throughout its code or in the form of missing proprietary components While the existence of better-supported or hardware-accredited forms of FOSS offerings is generally accepted by the FOSS community, proprietary components and versions are less well-liked (although there is perhaps growing acceptance as the community matures) HOWEVER, this is another example of competing with the community. The FOSS model means that anyone can produce freely available versions of your paid functionality, given enough time and expertise
  • Dual Licensing Provided that you have the necessary ownership or sub-licensing rights over your project's code, you can provide it under differing licences In the classic case, these would be a copyleft licence and a paid proprietary licence Customers who wish to build software product incorporating your code and who do not wish to use the copyleft licence must pay for the proprietary licence This is therefore most suitable for code which is readily susceptible to inclusion within commercial software products, for example database backends
  • Average activity increase due to implementation of Personalised Learning Framework
  • The five grey areas show the so called discourses in which learning takes places with the blue squares outlining technology solution that supports/facilitates learning in that area, i.e. The VLE sits within the institutional area, whereas assessments is driven by national & professional standards, supervised/enforced by the institution.
  • Assessment and e-ILP are modules developed around Moodle SITS/MIS direct integration with students record systems Echo, campusM, Mahara & Equella are strategic partners Eprints expertise of DART team to integrate with academic repositiories

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