PLM Business Models, Open Source and Copyleft Decline

PLM Business Models, Open Source and Copyleft Decline

I was reading IT World article early today – GPL, copyleft use declining faster than ever. It gives an interesting analyzes in the so-called “open source” field. Despite the broad definition of “open source software”, the debates about different flavors of open sources are on going. I was following Open Source in earlier on my blog. Navigate to the following link to read – PLM and Open Source Licenses. In my previous article, I’ve made analyzes of different open sources licenses available in the market and what it means for PLM.

According to IT World article, I mentioned above while the use of the GPL, LGPL, and AGPL set of copyleft (the method of making software free) licenses dominate free and open source projects, that use is still on the decline. According to the research made in the last year

The GPL family now accounts for about 57% of all open source software, compared to 61% in June,” Aslett wrote. More troubling for copyleft advocates, though, could be the projection Aslett and the 451 Group make based on the data. “…[I]f the current rate of decline continues, we project that the GPL family of licenses will account for only 50% of all open source software by September 2012.”

Later in the article author is coming to a very interesting comparison on the main reasons why “copyleft” is in decline as well as growing distance between “free” and “open source” licenses. The growing consolidation around communities opposite to to vendor’s project stated as one of the factors that drive an increase usage of permissive licenses. Almost two years ago, I discussed PLM vs. Free in my blog post. In my view, IT World article partially confirms the trend supported by many vendors to support more flexible and less restricted open sources licenses.

CAD, PLM, Free and Open Source

In CAD and PLM domain, Aras is a strong supporter of so-called Enterprise Open Source model. Aras is not using GPL licenses. Aras is developing community of users to share and development solutions on Aras Innovator platform. You can read Aras license agreement here. There is no other vendors in PLM world that follow open source strategy. At the same time, there are few products in the market distributed for free by CAD/PLM vendors (eg. Dassault System DraftSight and others)

What is my conclusion? I’m following the development of open-source software, communities, free software and future potential steps of vendors with high level of interest. In my view, vendors are more interested in how to innovate in business models rather than follow strict rules of GPL licenses. Just my thoughts…

Update 20-May-2012:

Aras just published a very good review of Aras Innovator licensing – Enterprise Open Source Aras Way. I recommend you to have a read. The short summary is as following:

1. Aras is combining Open Source solutions and non-open source infrastructure

2. Aras enterprise PLM applications are using OSI-compliant licenses – BSD and Ms-PL.

3. Aras core (or how Aras calls it Application Framework) is not available as open source. Aras is distributing it as a binary code, but it can be downloaded for free.

Best, Oleg


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