Using GPL'd Software In-House and the OSI Business Model


  • Using GPL'd Software In-House
    • Bradley M. Kuhn
    • Anthony K. Sebro, Jr.
    • Denver Gingerich
  • The OSI Business Model
    • Open Source Initiative


  • Copyleft and the GNU General Public License: A Comprehensive Tutorial and Guide
  • Open Source Case for Business



  • Originally released in 2003 but has seen many updates with the latest being in 2014
  • Last "Updated" in 2014

The Gist

  • Companies can use GPL'd software throughout a company without having to worry about anything.
  • There are advantages and disadvantages from most of the different business perspectives. There are four "known" business models for open source money making: Support sellers, loss leader, widget frosting, and accessorizing.

The Good

  1. It's short and to the point.
  2. GPL'd Software can be shared throughout a company.
  3. While it's not often advertised to the regular consumer, there are a lot of big name products that are open source.

The Bad

  1. While it being short is nice, it also means theres not a lot of substance or explanation.
  2. Examples are out of date. While it's nice to have them in there, if the people reading it don't know what the example is, it's not very helpful.
  3. This really only deals with the theoretical, and the theoretical isn't always how things pan out in practice.

The Questions

  1. How are other licenses dealt with when trying to use them for company purposes?
  2. Are these all of the possible FOSS business models that are in use?
  3. How can we show companies that FOSS isn't necessarily a bad thing? That you can make money off of it and it might actually make your product better?


Using GPL'd Software is a short and sweet section of what is potentially a great book. It offers an interesting piece of information without bogging the reader down in too much unneeded info.
6 Red Roses and 6 White Roses

The OSI Business Model is a much longer read. While it has some really good information, there is a lot that is outdated. It has broken links and examples that not everyone will have heard of.
8 Red Roses

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