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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Licencing Moodle Modules. in Technical; @geoff and localzuk Do you run moodle? do you have integration with sims.net?...
  1. #16
    penfold_99's Avatar
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    @geoff and localzuk

    Do you run moodle? do you have integration with sims.net?

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    Although not a licensing expert, as project co-ordinator of 2 open source projects (SLK and MLG) and managing director of a commercial company (SalamanderSoft), I've got my own take on this. Of course not being a legal expert, it's worth as much as you've paid for it. I also have commercial products, provisioning and online reporting, which compete with Penfold's so take with a pinch of salt

    From reading other responses and my own research I would say that Penfold's blocks would need to be released under GPL and hence in effect whether he wants it or not, open source. Penfold can restrict access to download it from his servers to those who have paid, but once downloaded it can be freely passed on to others. And the only thing preventing a commercial company providing commercial support for it would be his in depth knowledge of the code and problem domain.

    I can only see the following means of income for open source projects:
    1. Your school needs it and are paying your wage. Do it in working hours.
    2. Customers pay for ongoing support. Moodle users tend to be happy hacking it themselves, which does limit it a bit.
    3. Customers pay for one-off consulting/support/training.
    4. Customers pay for development. If they want a particular feature and timescale they are going to have to pay for it.

    Going into an open-source project you need to keep 3 things in mind.
    1. You will not make any money out of it.
    2. You are doing it because you like hacking the code or because you need the finished product.
    3. You will not make any money out of it.

    99.9% of open source projects will not make any money. Most of course will not try. I think that if you go into it expecting to make money you will be disappointed. Do it because your school needs it or you enjoy doing it.

    Also, people are unlikely to pay any money until the product is complete. The people who are going to pay for support are the people who have the budget for a packaged product, but don't lurk in technical forums on the off-chance something might be developed!

    Finally, good luck however you decide to proceed.

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