mentions franchising as a possible business model for free and open source software:
In our case this would mean giving other Midgard consultancies the right to use the Nemein brand and working model in their operations. In return, they would pay a franchising royalty to us. According to World Franchising, this royalty is typically 3-6% of revenue.
This is close to what Eric Raymond
called “Free the Software, Sell the Brand” model. Raymond writes:
This is a speculative business model. You open-source a software technology, retain a test suite or set of compatibility criteria, then sell users a brand certifying that their implementation of the technology is compatible with all others wearing the brand.
Bergius’ idea is more than that. He adds a management system, ready-made policies, training, strategies, sales support plus the good old support services.
Not a bad idea. Might work once you have first found a way to become a reputable business.
Benjamin Rossen is proposing a “New Linux Business Model” which would make it possible “to divide the source of Bill Gates’ billions among the people who are actually doing the creative work”. Rossen suggests that by establishing a non-profit company that would provide custom free software engineering and administration services. The outcome would go to the people who contribute and the resulting software would be free.
That’s a great intent but I’m sceptical. First, how is this different from any software company that hires programmers to write software that is released under a free license (like MySQL, Trolltech, SOT and others)? Second, how will the open source process work when there’s a large organisation involved? Isn’t one of the key reasons behind open source that it’s disorganisational, that the process is arbitrary and done for the fun of it? It looks like Rossen’s idea is trying to make the bazaar back into a cathedral.
Jordi Carrasco-Mu�oz suggested something similar in 2003 with his idea of Open Code Market that would be a marketplace for programmers willing to tailor free software for pay. Unfortunately, Open Code Market didn’t get off the ground either.
By the way, in 1999 there was also a thing called
The Open Market Source Definition which is basically a non-copyleft version of the Open Source Definition. In my view, it is based on a misunderstanding of free software business models.