Business around AGPL software? Oh yeah…..

I’ve heard many times to executives say that AGPL is a license incompatible with business. This is a well spread idea specially in the web world.

A few years ago a friend of mine, a visionary, Gonzalo Aller, from Fotón SI, the oldest Spanish Free Software company,  told me that AGPL is the GPL of the web world. He tried to convince me to put that license in a web project I was involved with. I thought he was crazy, like many times before (and later). I was one of the ignorants who used to see AGPL as business unfriendly.

Like many times before, little by little, I changed my mind and I got convinced, once again, that license define conditions but never determine business. Business is more related to having good ideas, taking smart decisions, execute them correctly and put your hart on it, and not so much about license.

This statement is backed up by many examples. The following projects:

  • CiviCRM
  • Zarafa
  • Gitorious
  • Launchpad
  • ProcessMaker

and many more are AGPL based Libre Software projects run by companies that build services around the product, successfully.

We have a new example, announced just today. OwnCloud Inc is born to support OwnCloud, a KDE project based on AGPL. Good luck and happy business!

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