Evaluation of Open Source Licensing Models for a Company Developing Mass Market Software

M. Välimäki (Finland) and V. Oksanen (USA)


Software licensing, open source, software distribution, software economics


Open source and free software products have challenged established licensing models for many types of mass mar ket software products. Especially markets in operating systems, development tools, web servers and databases have significant open source and free software products. A software company that wishes to benefit from the non technical innovations in open source and free software licenses has to carefully study the markets and character istics of different open source licensing models. This arti cle contains a preliminary evaluation of several frequently used open source licenses and licensing models from the perspective of a company developing mass market soft ware products for competitive markets. Comparing them to commercial licensing models, the article aims to ex plain when and how open source licenses make economic sense.

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