[GSoC notes] How to make money from open source session

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[GSoC notes] How to make money from open source session

Natale Patriciello

The organizer started with a not so obvious observation: legal entity
and ownership. Have you a legal entity? Who is owning that entity? Most
of the people present at the session reported that between 50k and 200k
are required for their projects to survive. Then, a list of
opportunities for making money with open source has been discussed:

-> prepare a Kickstarter campaign
-> Found a company to provide consulting services
-> selling commercial licenses
-> Is it better to have a corporate behind the open-source software, especially if that corporation has stakes in that software?
-> Prepare the software to be sold through software as a service
-> Patreon platform? Only one project is using it, but for allowing people to continuously support the project (that project is making 10k per month)
-> About the consulting services, it may make sense to build a network of members, with membership fees.
-> License your trademark (Power of the trademark!!) Your code is open source, but your trademark is not. There can be people that use your brand to have credibility, so better protect it
-> Establish beforehand what does it mean to contribute back. Example: many independent consultancies started to use the name. It would be a good thing to have a recommended list of consultancy on the website
-> Another way is to have training certificates, and therefore a certification process
-> Event organization
-> Advertising
-> Merchandising
-> process payments with a gateway (the org do the payment process and get a % of the amount)
-> doing X with the software, and open-sourcing that software (developing with revenue from X)
-> Bounties (market place)
-> Corporate sponsorships


=====================

Personal comments

Again, I found that our strategy for exploiting the open-source software
is different, as we can consider that ns-3 is going forward thanks to
independent consultancy groups. First thing I think it is missing, is a
way to "certify" that a particular group is going a good job for ns-3,
and then that it has visibility to be able to attract more project or
funding. For instance, if a company wants to hire someone for a
particular thing, we miss a quick and fast reference on the website
(e.g., someone wants a work done on LTE, it should contact CTTC).
Training certificates are another good point, as anyone can say, "yes
I'm an expert in ns-3," but there is no practical way for externals to
see it.

Then, last but very importantly, people are using the brand ns-3 (and
the consequences: good code, good tests, etc.) to sell their work. But,
as in the session was noted, the code is open, but the brand (trademark)
is not.

In the end, I would like to remark on the question I had for the other
session... who should make money from ns-3? The ns-3 consortium, or
everyone out there? In the latter option, these tips will apply to each
independent consultancies, but then as maintainer, I'd like to see the
trademark (and my work) protected.


Nat
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Re: [GSoC notes] How to make money from open source session

Tom Henderson-2
On 10/21/19 5:52 AM, Natale Patriciello wrote:
>
>
> In the end, I would like to remark on the question I had for the other
> session... who should make money from ns-3? The ns-3 consortium, or
> everyone out there? In the latter option, these tips will apply to each
> independent consultancies, but then as maintainer, I'd like to see the
> trademark (and my work) protected.
>

Natale, I am not sure what you are asking for specifically, regarding
'who should make money?'.  The project does not specifically endorse or
certify anyone's expertise in ns-3.  If we were to do so, such as you
describe (by directing interested customers to certain organizations or
individuals on our website), I suppose we would need to establish some
criteria for listings there.

As for trademark and license enforcement, we have dealt with a few small
issues around that in the consortium in years past, and it is one reason
I was thinking about applying to SFC (for future help in this regard).

- Tom
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Re: [GSoC notes] How to make money from open source session

Natale Patriciello
On 24/10/19 at 05:08, Tom Henderson wrote:

> On 10/21/19 5:52 AM, Natale Patriciello wrote:
> >
> >
> > In the end, I would like to remark on the question I had for the other
> > session... who should make money from ns-3? The ns-3 consortium, or
> > everyone out there? In the latter option, these tips will apply to each
> > independent consultancies, but then as maintainer, I'd like to see the
> > trademark (and my work) protected.
> >
>
> Natale, I am not sure what you are asking for specifically, regarding 'who
> should make money?'.

Hi Tom,

the session scope was to investigate how to make money from certain open
source software (I suppose not for being rich). The session was
centered on organizations, but for us the story is different as we are
many independent consultancy agencies. Therefore, the tips I gathered in
the notes have to be adapted: center on the organizations, as people there were
doing, or in individuals, as we are doing? Or maybe we have to split: on
one side the organization, and on the other the individuals...

> The project does not specifically endorse or certify
> anyone's expertise in ns-3.  If we were to do so, such as you describe (by
> directing interested customers to certain organizations or individuals on
> our website), I suppose we would need to establish some criteria for
> listings there.

Yes, it is one of the point suggested by the topic leader: establish who
and who cannot be listed. For me the solution exists and it is easy, but
maybe not the best one. So I'd like to hear more opinion on that.


> As for trademark and license enforcement, we have dealt with a few small
> issues around that in the consortium in years past, and it is one reason I
> was thinking about applying to SFC (for future help in this regard).

Would that help also in case of plagiarism and license problems (not
related to trademark but for code)?

Nat
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Re: [GSoC notes] How to make money from open source session

Tom Henderson-2
On 10/28/19 1:43 AM, Natale Patriciello wrote:

> On 24/10/19 at 05:08, Tom Henderson wrote:
>> On 10/21/19 5:52 AM, Natale Patriciello wrote:
>>>
>>> In the end, I would like to remark on the question I had for the other
>>> session... who should make money from ns-3? The ns-3 consortium, or
>>> everyone out there? In the latter option, these tips will apply to each
>>> independent consultancies, but then as maintainer, I'd like to see the
>>> trademark (and my work) protected.
>>>
>> Natale, I am not sure what you are asking for specifically, regarding 'who
>> should make money?'.
> Hi Tom,
>
> the session scope was to investigate how to make money from certain open
> source software (I suppose not for being rich). The session was
> centered on organizations, but for us the story is different as we are
> many independent consultancy agencies. Therefore, the tips I gathered in
> the notes have to be adapted: center on the organizations, as people there were
> doing, or in individuals, as we are doing? Or maybe we have to split: on
> one side the organization, and on the other the individuals...
>
>> The project does not specifically endorse or certify
>> anyone's expertise in ns-3.  If we were to do so, such as you describe (by
>> directing interested customers to certain organizations or individuals on
>> our website), I suppose we would need to establish some criteria for
>> listings there.
> Yes, it is one of the point suggested by the topic leader: establish who
> and who cannot be listed. For me the solution exists and it is easy, but
> maybe not the best one. So I'd like to hear more opinion on that.

I think you are advocating that we place information on the site to list
(or endorse?) organizations and individuals who are interested in
providing services, joining research proposals, etc.

If you have a specific proposal, please share it; otherwise, I suggest
that it is a topic that we can discuss on the consortium advisory board
and gather some feedback there.

>
>> As for trademark and license enforcement, we have dealt with a few small
>> issues around that in the consortium in years past, and it is one reason I
>> was thinking about applying to SFC (for future help in this regard).
> Would that help also in case of plagiarism and license problems (not
> related to trademark but for code)?

SFC has supported lawsuits regarding GPL compliance in the past.

- Tom