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Share - its the law!

Share - its the law!

Tuesday 25 September 2012 9:01:04 pm - 67 replies

The following letter appears to have been send by eZ Systems to a number of (community) partners by snailmail. The letter begins with a friendly request to share back extensions and tweaks, and subsequently urges the partner to 'comply' with the GNU license, and take a few minutes(!) to upload all derivative code to specifc locations.

I feel compelled to share this letter with you. I am not quite sure what to make of it? Can someone explain? What is the objective of this letter?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

eZ Systems
Bonner Str. 484
50968 Koln
Germany

 

Share-back with the community – a matter of respect and law

 

Dear ...

Open-source was born from people loving and sharing code. Tenfold innovation, magnified software quality amd immensely larger business networks are direct results of this philosophical seed. You benefit from it too, through the using eZ Publish Community Project.

Make sure the ball keeps rolling and take a few minutes to share back the extensions and tweaks you have been developing in your eZ Publish-based projects. It will benefit the entire community, and in return, you, as a fellow member (company or individual) having your code included and maintained.

On top of becoming an active part of a durable open-source community, sharing back will make sure you (and by extension, your customers), are in legal compliance with the GNU General Public License v.2 (GPL) under which you use the software.

The simplest way to do comply with this is to:

 (see http://www.gnu.org/licenses for further information).

Sometimes it is important for your customers not to be obliged to share back customizations, for example because they have a competitive edge or a security requirement through your solution. In these cases, the Enterprise Edition of eZ Publish is available, shipped with a Business User License (BUL) without any sharing back requirements.

In order to coordinate the sharing back activities, we would like you to share-back your derivative work at the afore-mentioned location, or write us an email in which you describe the past and on-going customer projects customizations or other eZ innovations that should be shared back according to the explanation above. Also note that we need to be aware of project customization to integrate them to the product if they are good, or discuss them with you and gather your input and recommendations.

 eZ Systems is changing and improving its approach towards partners in different was:

  • The first eZ Community UnConference [blablabla];
  • The eZ Publish Cloud Edition [blablabla];
  • The New Partner Program is being launched at the moment. Amongst other, the concept of “Community Partner” is reworked: two new levels are now available for you to choose from: Registered and Ready. They are both different, with different benefits and pre-requisites. We would like to explain what is new and why it presents more interest for you: please get in touch with us (cf contact information below).

Please make sure you get in touch with us soon on any of the topics above: we will be delighted to strengthen our contact, and guide you through these exciting novelties.

Your contact point: eZ Community Management team at community@ez.no

Best regards and thank you in advance for your support.

[Signature]

eZ Corporate Headquarters
Gabriele Viebach
eZ Systems Group CEO

Modified on Friday 28 September 2012 12:44:41 pm by S V

Thursday 27 September 2012 4:34:37 pm

I'm not afraid of eZ turning into a patent troll, but I am concerned about the conflict between the community and business side of eZ Publish.

I certainly do not envy Nicolas' job - he has to clean up every time someone who doesn't understand how open source works says or does something that's completely non sequiteur. Whether it's vaguely hostile postal mail or overzealous salespersons threatening to call your CEO if you don't buy the enterprise version, this kind of thing is damaging to the immensely valuable asset that is a software community.

The problem will remain as long as the people in charge of business strategy are those who would never themselves read the words I'm writing now.

That's because they don't know the value of a software community, so let me explain a few things that Nicolas may try to get them to read and understand:

  • Every time a business chooses eZ Publish instead of Drupal, Magnolia, InterWoven, EpiServer, ExpressionEngine or other competitors, it's a win.
  • It's a win because every user contributes to the reputation of the product, and in many cases also contribute to the technical knowledgebase that supports the product,
  • Allowing businesses and organisations that could never afford an enterprise license to use eZ Publish CE is not a loss. It provides references that eZ can use to sell enterprise licenses to larger clients, and continues to build the knowledgebase and reputation.
  • The technical feedback and testing of the community version directly support the commercial licenses, with no direct costs,
  • The open source model, when executed properly, provides greater security and quality than other models given the same investment,
  • The more users you have, the more powerful you are.

Modified on Thursday 27 September 2012 4:42:22 pm by Daniel A. Øien

Thursday 27 September 2012 4:44:54 pm

Gentlemen, I'm sorry for the little troll I will do right here but I couldn't help noticing some "open source" or "oss" mentions in this conversation.

Maybe it will help to remind that GNU GPL is not intended to be an "Open Source" license but a "Free Software" license.

Understanding the difference of purpose between the both two could help to understand the meaning of their content, I guess...

Modified on Thursday 27 September 2012 4:45:28 pm by Charles-Edouard Coste

Thursday 27 September 2012 5:19:02 pm

@Daniel : You've just highlighted the real problem : are all the business protagonists and the community ones working together or against each other ? Every day I try to take the best of both worlds, and I'm convinced that it's an interesting vision of what OS can be. As a community member/partner I have a great esteem of what the business side of eZ Publish is. But I'm forced to ask : is the opposite right ? From our point of view, what is shared-back to us ?

@Charles-Edouard : maybe you are right, but just like me you know that eZ Publish is everyday, in any blog post, tweets, and any presentation made during presale phases, sold as an open source software. Just look at the pitch on http://ez.no : "eZ Publish is an Enterprise Open Source Content Management Systems"

Thursday 27 September 2012 6:12:56 pm

Quote from Charles-Edouard Coste :

Gentlemen, I'm sorry for the little troll I will do right here but I couldn't help noticing some "open source" or "oss" mentions in this conversation.

Maybe it will help to remind that GNU GPL is not intended to be an "Open Source" license but a "Free Software" license.

Understanding the difference of purpose between the both two could help to understand the meaning of their content, I guess...

OSS ~ Free Software(in terms of GPL2.0 and FSF) and is not at all a reference to money.

Well, even here we are at an impass. The definition of Free Software in the specific context of the Free Software Foundation and GPL2.0 is specific in this case.  "Free" refers to freedom.  Freedom to share, freedom to modify, even freedom to charge for your modifications, etc.  So, in the terms of FSF and GPL2.0, "Free Software" is somewhat synchronous with Open Source because you are 'Free to modify, free to distribute and free to charge for such services as long as you make the source available..

Thursday 27 September 2012 7:02:17 pm

Quote from David Ennis :

OSS ~ Free Software(in terms of GPL2.0 and FSF) and is not at all a reference to money.

Who talked about money? Of course "Free software" doesn't mean "free as in free beer" but "free as in free-speech". But that's exactly the reason why it's false to think that OSS ~ Free Software. Purpose of OSS is just technical/marketing whereas Free software is political. It's completly different philosophy even if the methods are similar.

The goal of GNU GPL is to make people keep control over their software. If someone writes an extension or a patch to his customer, he must disclose the source code so the customer can be sure to keep control over the plateform. And if he want to distribute this work on the internet, he has to disclose the code but more over, he has to release it with the same license, so nobody can break the circle.

eZ Systems doesn't seem to care about this aspect. The problem here is not to make sure that the final customer stays free. It's clear that eZ just want a cashback to capitalize over partners work. I guess eZ used the right license for a while but doesn't share the GNU's philosophy anymore.

I would be the first to defend eZ and tell everyone to share code... But this message to the community makes me fear of future choices. Just like the constant inclusion of intrusive Ajax since the 4.3, which makes my work harder and harder as I try to build accessible websites...

Modified on Friday 28 September 2012 7:56:25 am by Charles-Edouard Coste

Friday 28 September 2012 8:44:50 am

Who talked about money? Of course "Free software" doesn't mean "free as in free beer" but "free as in free-speech".

Cool.  Glad we are on the same page on this happy.gif Emoticon

Friday 28 September 2012 1:00:23 pm

I was also surprised after reading this letter. For now I asume that the intention of the letter was probably different than how it was received.

Maybe it’s interesting to have a look at this presentation (slide 19 onwards): http://www.slideshare.net/eteigland/study-of-ez-publish-community

Lessons learned (slide 22)?

Modified on Tuesday 02 October 2012 12:32:04 pm by Ron Schöningh

Friday 28 September 2012 11:34:07 pm

Dear all, 

I would first like to thank you for the mature exchange and fruitful discussion. Every post was argumented, insightful, in a friendly and respectful way. And also excuse my late reply, I have been away until today for private reasons.

 

The underlying reasons

I will not attempt to give a general definition of "Community", a rather wide topic, but tell you a bit about my 7 year experience as eZ Community member, and more precisely about the last 3 years managing it. One of you mentioned it, the community exists because some of its members are exchanging. The 90/9/1 rule does not find its exception with us, we can safely say that 1% of all members are hyper-active and leading initiatives, that the next 9% are participating from time to time, and that the remaining 90% are mostly spectators (probably using eZ Publish, though). This 10%-wide seed of engaged people is vital to our community. They are routined with forum usage, active on social media channels, blogging, writing tutorials, contributing code and/or ideas to eZ Publish or extensions, open-sourcing their add-ons on projects.ez.no, joining the crowd at events, you name it. All of you who replied to this thread, beyond understanding it, live it. The emotional tint in your replies denote a marked feeling of belonging to this place. On a side-note: this touches me a lot.

The eZ Publish Community has this particular trait: only one vendor is part of it, thus being the main funding source for any community-related initiative -  infrastructure, web properties maintenance, events, community managers, etc. The company needs to reach some level of prosperity to be able to continuously support community development activities, in a broad sense. I wrote, one day, a bit about this.

eZ makes a living out of the sales of the Enterprise Edition version of eZ Publish, mainly. In varied flavors, a very modular offering. There are typical projects where Enterprise Edition fits very well, in terms of feature-set, in terms of stability, in terms of cost related to the entire project. In these projects, it also most of the time makes a lot of sense, from the customer stand-point, to be able to rely on the vendor for support, particulary when the powered platform is business-, or mission-critical.

Still, in some clearly identified cases where a huge, and extremely profitable platform is powered by eZ Publish, Community Project is used, Enterprise Edition not considered or not proposed. This signal sent is, seen from my Community Manager eyes, not very positive, particularly when the stakeholders of the project do know about the existence of the community, and how it works. Law, here, is not the actual heart of the matter, respect to the community is.

 

The way

From the baseline presented above, I believe you better understand the grounds of this letter. That it was sent to all partners might not, I must confess, be the optimal way. Every participant to this thread is a contributor and will hopefully, from the explanations above, get the underlying idea.

 

eZ Systems, and Open-source

When created in 1999, eZ's soil were values: "Open, Share, Innovative". At the heart of the company, and its one product, eZ Publish, were these core-values, that still are inherent to every of eZ's actions today. In 99, one had to be a pioneer to on-board on the challenging trip of Enterprise Open-source. eZ still is here today, 13 years later, still committed to Open-source. The adjacent business model has changed (Professional Services, then Subsrciption-based), some people have changed, but the open software remains.

Nobody solved entirely the Enterprise Open-source problem yet. That is a modern business model, unbeatable when it comes to innovation pace and market penetration, but that needs to be profitable on the long run, for the simple reasons exposed above. You might have noted, by the way, that the past two years have brought important changes in the way contribution can be achieved. The move to github, the structuration of the community ( Community Project Board, share.ez.no team, eZ Diff Squad ), the advent of eZ Roadmap, facilitated close to 500 direct contributions to the product and extensions last year. That is a clear transition from the "visible code" paradigm to "community + open-source", which I am happy to have pushed and energized. 

On the same note, we will soon open a new issue tracker and crowd-project facilitation tool to ease community participation on larger features: from the idea down to the actual implementation, through specifications, functional and technical. That will be another step forward in opening-up eZ's engineering processes to enable community participation, endeavour which I have been pursuing in the past 3 years now.

The consequences of this renewed openness and transparency were increased engagement from the entire community, around product contribution, but also at our events, in spearheading community-driven initiatives (the eZ Publish Show, the Netgen Summer Camp, the eZ US Community growing activities, to name only a few), in reaching-out to neighbour communities (example: Symfony).

This constantly evolving, positive picture shall not be damaged by a few oblivious guys or organizations not playing the respectful, and fun game of community. What matters in this is the essence of the message, that every member of the community, to the extent of his capacity, should have at heart and in mind. I know that you guys have it. That is how we will continue growing our community, and building eZ Publish Community Project together.

I hope these few lines bring clarity, 
Please let me know in case this is not totally the case, I will be happy to further help.

Cheers,

Modified on Friday 28 September 2012 11:34:53 pm by Nicolas Pastorino

Saturday 29 September 2012 2:42:00 am

Hi Nicolas,

I think it would be helpful, given the legal quotes in the letter surrounding the GNU license and subsequent discussion of that, for eZ System's legal team to provide links to the exact passages of the license which they feel back up their "legal obligation to share derivative works" statement (my quote, not theirs).  When there such a close corporate/community relationship, it's important that everyone is on the same page.

It's an interesting discussion, because I've had times when both company & client believe they own the code for extensions that have been written.

This is obviously one approach out of many which could have been taken, but mention of anything legal, however small, is destined to get people's backs up.  I think it's an unfortunate inclusion, as the "sharing" intent of the rest of the letter is lovely.  What other direct approaches have been taken in the past?

Perhaps in future, eZ Systems could tap the 10% for ways to reach the 90%, or even for revenue-generating ideas?  Here's my first idea for community growth:

  1. Add info about community & sharing to the technical documentation or default demo content

Thanks for carrying the torch, even when it gets excruciatingly hot!

Geoff 

Modified on Saturday 29 September 2012 4:02:59 am by Geoff Bentley

Sunday 30 September 2012 11:02:56 pm

First of all, Nicolas, thank you for taking the time to reply in detail to this topic on a late Friday evening. Your answer somewhat clarifies things for me, and if I understand correctly, can be summarized as follows: eZ Systems invests money into maintaining and expanding the user community (platform, community managers and events), but expects a return on this investment. In return for supporting the community, eZ Systems wants community members to show their commitment to the community by selling enterprise licenses whenever possible. In this way, eZ Systems can make a profit, and part of that profit can flow back into the community to fund the development of new community tools, events, etc.

But eZ Systems and the community have two problems: the ‘free rider problem’ and ‘oblivious individuals’. First, some of the partners that benefit from the output of the community, are not committed to selling enterprise licenses even though their clients can afford it. From what I understand from the information available sofar, the aim of the letter is basically to ‘coerce’ that or those partner(s) into buying enterprise licenses. Either ‘you’ start buying enterprise licenses or ‘we’ force to contribute to the community in a different way (code). By not returning code or money, these partners/clients are effectively draining the resources of eZ Systems and thus its community. Second, some ‘oblivious individuals’ are undermining the status of the product/community/eZ Systems, and are thus limiting opportunities to growth (financially/community). Finally, even though the letter went out to all partners, it meant to target a more limited group. 'Recap' (my version) ends here.

There are several issues with this approach of using ‘coercion’ to solve the free rider problem. To name a few:

  • Since eZ Publish is dual licensed, I don’t see a legal base for forcing partners or clients into buying enterprise licenses;
  • A business model that relies on ‘coercing’ clients and partners into buying enterprise licenses by legally requiring them to share their code seems rather unconventional. From the earlier replies in this thread I conclude that the only way to properly enforce such ‘sharing’ would be through a (probably high profile) court case;
  • In order for eZ Systems to make a profit, partners will have to behave more like ‘dealers’ than ‘partners’. This could backfire for eZ Systems: once the ‘financial’ aspect of the relation between partners and eZ Systems becomes more important, partners (or ‘dealers’) will also start to expect real financial benefits from their relation from eZ Systems, for example through the eZ Market. Some partners may not want to be ‘dealers’ and may want their (community) partnership cancelled. Many partners opting out might weaken the overall image of the community;
  • Sharing for the sake of legal obligations may flood the community with high quality, but still fairly useless code. At least 50% of my own code is so client-specific, it doesn’t make sense to share it – but who would be the final judge of that? And sharing code doesn’t take a few minutes – it often takes hours to clean everything up and properly document it. Should the client be billed for that or will the partner bear that burden?
     

The second problem is the problem of ‘oblivious guys not playing the respectful and fun game of community’. In order to sell enterprise licenses, it is in the best interest of eZ Systems to display a positive picture of the community and eZ Publish. Since the community depends on the financial support of eZ Systems, it is therefore in the interest of the community to be positive and enthusiastic. In a very homogeneous community this would probably be true, but the eZ community/ecosystem might be more heterogeneous than we think/like. Some partners target small and intermediate enterprises with a limited budget, whereas other partners target big companies. So some decisions taken by eZ Systems and the community might not be beneficial to all partners and may undermine business for some. For example: the way in which Symfony has been introduced as a part of eZ Publish (or the other way around) has made it more difficult for certain partners to sell eZ Publish and related services. Other partners may have considered the introduction of Symfony this a new opportunity. Another example: some partners may cooperate closely with eZ Systems to create new opportunities (cloud services) whereas others may feel eZ Systems is not properly respecting their short- and long term interests. Are these partners ‘oblivious’? No, they are trying very hard to defend a business position that in many cases took them years to develop. Resistance to change is not always the result of being 'oblivious': there might be very good reasons not to jump in or to resist. However, I can see how eZ Systems might not appreciate this.

I reckon the question is whether the current relation between eZ Systems and the eZ Publish community is really beneficial for both parties involved. Is it a good or a bad thing that an open source community has a ‘moral’ or ‘legal’ obligation towards a vendor? From the community point of view I think a bit more distance might not be a bad thing – maybe even to the point where the community is not financially dependent upon eZ Systems. For the sake of eZ Systems I would reconsider the freedom offered by the current license, and maybe work out a different way to make money out of enterprise open source: cloud solutions or targeted solutions like a community edition. Maybe it might even be better to ‘close source’ future versions.

Anyway, now that legal references have been made on paper, partners and customers need to know what they can expect. Clients need to know the obligations that come with using the eZ Publish software, and partners need to know what to tell their clients in order to sell their services. I hope this can be sorted out soon!

Modified on Sunday 30 September 2012 11:10:32 pm by S V

Friday 05 October 2012 3:12:11 am

I second the idea of a legal FAQ page regarding the rights and duties of the community edition, and I think it is urgent to have one.

The eZ staff of my region, including executives, told me that community edition can't be used for sites in production, and that if you use eZ for a site in production you must use the enterprise edition (and pay the subscription)

That one is a very big one and could kill some community partners.

Friday 05 October 2012 7:38:13 am

Quote from Eric Sagnes :

The eZ staff of my region, including executives, told me that community edition can't be used for sites in production

o_O ???

I guess that @David will agree that this is not really the GNU philosophy -_-

Friday 05 October 2012 9:04:11 am

Quote from Eric Sagnes :

community edition can't be used for sites in production

What does that even mean?  Once again, it implies something that simply is not the GPL.  I think there should be a FAQ too - a FAQ to educate the eZ sales staff, and apparently executives, on what they can and cannot expect people to do as well as outlining what eZ thinks the GPL means.

I understand that they have to make money - but, frankly, that's not my primary concern - and if they don't want a community edition they can shut it down which will also shut down all the good that comes from it.  And, if they what to interpret GPL as something it's not, it's too much of a business risk for me to use.

I don't think I'm going to be installing eZPublish at any client site until this is cleared up.

Friday 05 October 2012 12:48:51 pm

Quote from Eric Sagnes :

I second the idea of a legal FAQ page regarding the rights and duties of the community edition, and I think it is urgent to have one.

The eZ staff of my region, including executives, told me that community edition can't be used for sites in production, and that if you use eZ for a site in production you must use the enterprise edition (and pay the subscription)

That one is a very big one and could kill some community partners.

I've heard this for years... They say can't be used for sites in production but they would better say  should not be used for huge & critical sites in production where an EE subscription might be a good thing to have for security and support reasons, blablabla (that's what I say now that I'm not an eZ Employee anymore... because I guess, it's the truth).

Unfortunately, as Eric said, that's a usual way to sell more EE and I think that's not a good evangelisation message for SMB customers (who can not clearly afford a subscription which would represent more that 10% of the whole project cost).

The consequences are very simple : people (would) think that eZ Publish is not a good product for small projects and this is clearly the opposite of what we want !!! eZ Publish is a really good choice whatever the project size, and one of its strength is that you can start with a small site (corporate + blog for instance) and then move to a biggest one (media portal + intranet + extranet, etc), keeping the same platform. Then if needed you can move from a CE to an EE if your customer wants it because he understands the benefits, and that makes sense ! Sales sell products the way they want using the message they want, that's not the point and that's not eZ Publish/Systems related... again the main issue is that newbies, partners, and customers think they can't use a CE for production site.

The idea for a FAQ is a good one and the first Q/A should be as clear as possible such as (correct me if I'm wrong) :

Q: Can I use eZ Publish for a production site ? Is it enough stable ?

A: Yes, the eZ Publish Community Edition can be used for production sites. <= the truth

eZ Publish is provided as it is under [License], meaning that eZ Systems nor people involved in the share.ez.no community can be responsible for any issues .... blablabla <= more explanations

If you are a (potential) business partner or anybody else concerned by support, consulting, etc... then you must know that there is a Enterprise Edition made for critical sites .... blablabla <= sales message... should not be more than this, we are on the Community website.

Modified on Monday 08 October 2012 10:52:29 am by Arnaud Lafon

Sunday 07 October 2012 1:32:54 am

Yep, there's a big difference between "you can't use" and "legally, you can't use".

Also, the versions of eZ Publish prior to the split have the same license as CE, no?

CE allows SMBs to expand and grow into big businesses with EE needs.

Monday 08 October 2012 7:22:38 am

Apparently I also received this letter, but it was awaiting me for some time at my parents' place.

It seriously worries me that the current eZ management does not seem to know how the GPL v2 works. Like other people in this thread mentioned already, you can modify the core's source code / plugin your own extensions under the GPL and charge money for without publishing it to the entire world, however you will always have to distribute the modified / extension source code to the person who you are selling your modifications to. And he/she is of course free as well to publish your modifications to the entire world or NOT.

Unless you offer as SaaS, which the GPL v2 does not include (vs. Aferro GPL which also binds that practice to rules). Under those circumstances you even don't need to disclose the source code.

I've always been open to share with the eZ community and did a lot several years ago when I was a more active member. With the steps towards building upon Symfony, eZ seemed on the right track but this letter IMHO is shocking and looks like a desperate cry in the dark.

If some partners are using the GPL in the wrong way (with wrong I mean REALLY wrong, not as described in the letter) then IMHO they should've been adressed separately.

Monday 08 October 2012 11:15:00 am

I've been around here for many years. I have always spoken up for eZ Publish as the best choice for SMB's when it comes to CMS's, even if there are systems out there more sexy and easy to use. Why? Because it has the best backend, which gives it the most flexibility and extendibility. And of course, because I love it. As I love the community.

Now I’m not so sure anymore. I find myself worried about the attitude of eZ Systems. I know you have to earn money. In fact, it’s absolutely necessary that you do. I have always worried about your business model, not sure if it would be solid enough to earn your bucks.

In my opinion, their Enterprise strategy has failed. The difference between Enterprise and Community is not clear enough. In fact it so dizzy, that even eZ employees seem to not see the benefits of using Enterprise, thus using untrue arguments like “You cannot use CE for production” to gain ground. If you could not use a GPL’d software for production, it would not be GPL.

If I was to sketch a strategy for eZ (I’m sure no one wants me to, but I’ll do it anyway), it would be would be along these lines:

  1. Keep EE and CE.
  2. Draw a line between them. Say that CE can only be used for commercial sites with less than e.g. 100 000 (do the math’s!) objects or whatever. If necessary, change to a more business friendly open source license.
  3. Make EE worth the costs. Identify some clear advantages and make more come over time. Make the customers feel that they get more the longer they stay customers.
  4. Stick to this strategy. Don’t change course every time the wind blows from another direction. This is business, not sailing!

Every time you do drastic things (like sacking almost all their developers) to improve profits, you scare off community members. Do it often and customers are scared off as well. You bring to much uncertainty to the game. You bring risk to a (pretty much) riskless environment. And risk always costs.

Sending this signal (“share – it’s the law”) to the community seems to me as a desperate act. It’s a classic bummer. It’s blaming the crowd for the individuals fault. Don’t do that!

If you want to make money, use your brain, make a sound strategy and stick to it. 

Modified on Monday 08 October 2012 3:39:54 pm by Felix Laate

Monday 08 October 2012 12:59:15 pm

Quote from Felix Laate :

Sending this signal (“share – it’s the law”) to the community seems to me as a desperate act.

Just to make it clear: the actual subject of the letter from eZ Systems is 'Share-back with the community – a matter of respect and law'. The subject 'share - it's the law' is the title of this forum topic.

Monday 08 October 2012 4:19:14 pm

HI.

I've kept quiet mostly because as I did not get the letter, I have only contributed in items related more generically to the GPL statement and not gotten involved in the deeper parts of the letter and analysis of the business strategy and the definition of community, etc...

Furthermore, I also wanted to see if this thread stayed active with 'new blood' rather than it keeping a pulse with the same few people re-hashing the whole things. Well, it is interesting that every few days a new person comes along and replies.  That to me increases the importance of the this thread - it is staying popular with new people..

So, after a week, I decided to chime in again:

Keep EE and CE.Draw a line between them. Say that CE can only be used for commercial sites with less than e.g. 100 000 (do the math’s!) objects or whatever. If necessary, change to a more business friendly open source license.Make EE worth the costs. Identify some clear advantages and make more come over time. Make the customers feel that they get more the longer they stay customers.

@Felix:  That all sounds lovely and makes a bit of sense to me.. But there is no 'retract' or 'un-gpl' button to hit to reverse things.  The code base that is GPL'd now and available from github is (and will always be) GPL.. So, even if they were to change the terms of future releases, any existing copy will still be what it is - GPL Licensed - free to live a life of its own in any future permutations it so wishes (under the GPL terms, of course)

Tuesday 09 October 2012 7:01:18 pm

Having received this letter from eZ Systems two weeks ago, I have been following this thread closely.

Trying to summarize, it seems that nobody oposes the notion of sharing back knowledge, experience or code with the community - as a matter of respect and thankfulness for a great community we are part of and a great product we have committed to and are bringing forward together with eZ Systems.

This letter however does not only stipulate that we violate the GPL if we do not share back all of our work, but also includes our customers in this threat. Nicolas called the sending out of this letter to all partners "not the optimal way" - I'd rather call it an offense given the fact that it seems evident that eZ Systems' claim can not be based on GPL.

I agree with Kristof Coomans that those who really misuse the GPL should be addressed directly. All others however deserve a profound explanation - if not excuse - from eZ Systems' CEO, who has signed the letter.

Modified on Wednesday 10 October 2012 9:21:16 am by Donat Fritschy

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