July 2007

Recently a Carleton University student asked his professor "how do you make money from open source?" An excellent question for which there is no short answer. If anything, it appears to lead to a conundrum: aren't the motivators behind open source diametrically opposed to those that drive business? Dig deeper and you'll find that open source and business have much to gain from each other. The difficulty is finding accurate information from those who understand both the business and open source environments.

The Open Source Business Resource is a resource for promoting an open dialog on the issues involved with making money from open source. It is an opportunity for those who wish to learn more about the business of open source to benefit from the experience of those who have already studied the success factors and from those who have successfully integrated open source into their business strategy. The OSBR:

  • helps create the right environment for companies to commercialize goods and services based on open source assets
  • removes barriers to the commercialization of open source assets
  • surfaces the open source related activity that is going on in companies, universities and governments and knits it together as a cohesive story that we can take to the world
  • will evolve to satisfy the needs of companies that use open source to compete

We begin by introducing ourselves and some of the initiatives that are occurring in the Ottawa area. The feature article summarizes the collaborative research between Nortel and Carleton University that examined the maturity stages a business goes through as it creates an ecosystem around an open source community. Additional articles focus on the Eclipse ecosystem, the Talent First Network, the Ontario Reseaarch Commercialization Program, and the multiple dimensions of software licenses. In addition, the July issue describes two exciting open source projects, and provides news, links to open educational resources, information on upcoming events, and answers to questions received.

We want to hear from you! Let us know what you are doing with open source and the lessons you have learned. Share the resources which were most useful to you. Suggest themes for future discussion. Ask questions you would like to see answered. Submit events and news items. Send an email to the Editor. You'll find formatting guidelines in the Contribute section to assist you in your submission.

There is an exciting lineup of themes for future editions of the OSBR. These include: defining open source, discussing legal issues and clean IP, finding quality support, and creating business models. Be sure to check out the Editorial Themes on the last page of this publication. Visit the OSBR website to subscribe to an email or RSS notification when new versions of the OSBR become available.

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