the endless stream of examples... Re: GPLv3 - Update was: Re: [LINK] the slow motion gpl trainwreck

Glen Turner glen.turner at
Mon Jul 31 12:46:59 AEST 2006

Deus Ex Machina wrote:

> this is not a foss example. businesses have been trying to switch to
> service models for decades. this has nothing whatsoever to do with
> what we are talking about. the idea of a ongoing revenue stream rather
> then one off sales is not exactly a foss or a new idea.
> let me be as clear as I can.
> the claim made repeatedly is that equivalent or better profits can be
> had by giving away software and making up the profit on support.
> this may have some chance in a b2b context because business are prepared to "pay"
> for a relationship. my contention is that home users are not.
> show me examples of a foss projects where this claim of success in a
> home market is happening. there should be an endless stream of them, surely?

A moment's though would suggest that the home market doesn't
pay for support for much.  It's more of an incident-based
market -- think whitegoods repairs, lawn mowing and the like.

So you are probably right.  But I don't think the business
plan you outlined was ever seriously suggested for sales to

Interestingly, FOSS is much more likely to appear in households
in a cost minimisation business plan.  Look at the number of
ADSL modems that lower software development costs by using

I think the revenues generated by Red Hat show that the "support"
business plan can work when applied to corporates.  After all,
if you don't need "support" you can download CentOS or Fedora.
(This is not to say that I think that Red Hat support is either
good or value for money).

Similarly, the people at MySQL and the developers of Asterisk seem
to be going just fine too. What is interesting is the low head
count.  Not sure why. Perhaps it's less marketing and direct sales.

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