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Re: Protecting developer benefits in an open source project


From: Alfred M\. Szmidt
Subject: Re: Protecting developer benefits in an open source project
Date: Sun, 13 Nov 2005 02:48:28 +0100

   How could the original founder of an open source project, protect
   and keep his project as his own, and prevent other external factors
   ( a company or group of developers) from getting his source, invest
   a lot of money on the base project, start their own businness out
   of it, and leave the original developer out of the way?

I don't know how it is with open source projects (the GNU project
doesn't concern it self with open source), but with free software
projects there is no such right for the author of the orignal
developer.  Anyone should be free to take and make a branch, otherwise
it wouldn't be free software since the right to make changes is
limited.  It is about the rights of users, not the author that is
important.

   A second issue is, how could copyrights prevent this problem, if at
   all? Would it be unethical, or inappropriate to say, "this project
   is mine, and no entity can start a project with the same purpose,
   using my sources", at least temporarily until the project gets
   enough leverage that no external factor can interfere?

Yes it would be unethical to do so, it would make the project
non-free.

If you are a good maintainer, and maintain the project well, you have
nothing to worry about since a company won't simply hire a bunch of
people to fork something and have to pay those people to maintain the
code.  Simpler to hire people to add features that they need, and have
you maintain the code.




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