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Old 15 April 2015, 22:34   #82
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: New York
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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
If something is still making someone money then you are basically asking them to forgo any future earnings and give it away for free.
We've already covered this. Releasing code ≠ inhibiting someone's ability to make money. Would you shell out $30 (or likely much less) for some program to support the author and a small hobbyist community, or not do that because you could setup a development environment and compile it?

Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Personally, I have no problem with programmers keeping the code to themselves. What I would like though is if they have got bored or moved on to something that's actually going to make them money this day and age (like a PC or mobile app) then release their Amiga sources and let someone else take over if such a person is out there.
The moment you decide to abandon a project is hardly the right time to "find another developer". Why should be obvious.

Originally Posted by Ian View Post
But ultimately how fruitful will this be? Dopus 4 sources were released and there was maybe 2 updates 5 years ago and nothing since. Scratch that, it was 12 years ago!! (Although looking at the source there have been some changes up to 2012 at least)
Where are you looking? I see updates this year.

Originally Posted by Megol View Post
Things have been released as "open source" a long time before now, in fact the operating systems for several early systems were released wholly for free. Then the microcomputer revolution created a lot of software that was available freely and modifiable. The main difference to now was that software were often available as public domain or without any explicit license (but released with the intention of it being freely distributed and modified). The GPL, MIT, BSD licences all dates back to the late 80's as does software that uses them.
Quite right. In fact it was actually _weird_ not to give the sources of the software if a user requested it.

Originally Posted by clebin View Post
An readily-available "escrow" service for source-code would be interesting. I know this happens with corporate contracts, but an easy-to-use public version might be nice.

The source would remain closed until certain circumstances happen, when it would be released automatically under a chosen open-source license.

The death of the author is the obvious one, but (less morbidly) the developer could say "if I don't update the code in 10 years..." or "if I don't log in and hit the "Renew" button within 5 years..." then open the code under GPL. The criteria could be defined by the author themselves.

They could remove the code from the service later, but that's their decision. The thing is that they're not transferring any ownership or rights at that stage.

It would mean that there's no need to persuade a disinterested author to hunt through their attic looking for a disk, assuming they can be persuaded to put their code on there while they're still actively developing.

Does such a thing exist already? Would any devs reluctant to open their code sign up to such a service? Just a thought...
That's quite a cool idea. Could be done with some of the newer blockchain technology relatively easily. That being said, I still really can't see any benefit for hobbyist/retro computer fans to keep source closed in the first place.

Last edited by TCD; 16 April 2015 at 06:08. Reason: Back-to-back posts merged.
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