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  1.    #1  
    I am not sure what to do with my app. I want to submit it to the app catalog, but fear it won't sell enough to break even. I've started to consider making it open source so that I could get it in the catalog for free, but Iím not entirely sure what I have to do for it to be ďopen sourceĒ. Do I have to have the source code available for anyone to download for free, which they can then package and resell themselves? Or do they have to buy a copy in order to get to the source code?

    I guess Iím just a little lost as it seems anyone could just snoop through open source apps, get them for free and turn around and try to make money off them.
  2. #2  
    Quote Originally Posted by sinime View Post
    I am not sure what to do with my app. I want to submit it to the app catalog, but fear it won't sell enough to break even. I've started to consider making it open source so that I could get it in the catalog for free, but Iím not entirely sure what I have to do for it to be ďopen sourceĒ. Do I have to have the source code available for anyone to download for free, which they can then package and resell themselves? Or do they have to buy a copy in order to get to the source code?

    I guess Iím just a little lost as it seems anyone could just snoop through open source apps, get them for free and turn around and try to make money off them.
    It gives everyone the permission to modify it, but they can't sell without your permission.

    what's your app anyways?
  3. #3  
    It depends on the license you put it under. If you put it under public domain, anyone can take the code and reuse it themselves. If you license it under the BSD license, other people can use it but they have to explicitly state it is based on your code. If you license it under GPL, source code based on your code has to be made available.

    Licensing is a legal minefield so you need to talk to a lawyer. Bear in mind that most apps for WebOS are effectively "open source" as the source code is right there. My personal inclination would be to GPL the code, but give a link for donations for anyone who likes the code / wants a mod made but can't code it for themselves. I believe open source licenses make it easier to get in on the Preware feed, but that is not my bag so don't take that as gospel.

    FWIW, all the code I write for myself is GPL. Most of the code I write for my current organisation is GPL. Code I have written in the past is closed source, largely because of trade secrecy requirements (eg, embedded modem code). I have ethical difficulties charging for something that is effectively a very long string of binary numbers.

    Cheers, Steve
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by sinime View Post
    I am not sure what to do with my app. I want to submit it to the app catalog, but fear it won't sell enough to break even. I've started to consider making it open source so that I could get it in the catalog for free, but Iím not entirely sure what I have to do for it to be ďopen sourceĒ. Do I have to have the source code available for anyone to download for free, which they can then package and resell themselves? Or do they have to buy a copy in order to get to the source code?
    An open source application must comply with the open source license chosen. All of them require the source code to be available for anyone else to use, modify and release as they please (as long as they too comply with the open source license). Note that taking the open source code and selling it under another name is not incompatible with most open source licenses, but of course someone doing that without adding truly different new features opens themselves up to public exposure of their true intentions and contributions (since their source code also has to be open, and anyone can compare and report on the similarities and differences).

    I guess Iím just a little lost as it seems anyone could just snoop through open source apps, get them for free and turn around and try to make money off them.
    That is exactly what open source is all about. Of course they also have to use the same open source license, so someone else can do the same thing to them. So the differentiators then change to how well you support your customers, or how quickly you add new features, or how well you market your app, rather than how well you can hide your code.

    Note that the Javascript code for all applications (open source or not) is accessible and readable on a webOS device, so you're not going to be able to stop someone who wants to rip off your app source code from doing so if they truly want to.

    -- Rod
    WebOS Internals and Preware Founder and Developer
    You may wish to donate by Paypal to donations @ webos-internals.org if you find our work useful.
    All donations go back into development.
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  5.    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by nimer55 View Post
    It gives everyone the permission to modify it, but they can't sell without your permission.

    what's your app anyways?
    It's a stupid tabard tracker for WoW. I wrote it for myself and my wife and she said I should put it up for sale. Problem is, most people don't care about tabards in WoW and those that do might have an excel file or scratch pad to keep track of their tabards so they wouldn't want to pay for an app. That's why I don't really want to go through to $50 app submission.



    Last edited by sinime; 04/18/2010 at 06:03 PM.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by sinime View Post
    It's a stupid tabard tracker for WoW. I wrote it for myself and my wife and she said I should put it up for sale. Problem is, most people don't care about tabards in WoW and those that do might have an excel file or scratch pad to keep track of their tabards so they wouldn't want to pay for an app. That's why I don't really want to go through to $50 app submission.
    One option is to just do free web distribution.

    Alternatively, if you do go open source, for an app as specialized as a tabbard tracker, I doubt anyone would use the source code to release their own version without raising a few eyebrows
    If you've liked my software, please consider to towards future development.

    Developer of many apps such as: WebOS Quick Install, WebOS Theme Builder, Ipk Packager, Unified Diff Creator, Internalz Pro, ComicShelf HD, LED Torch, over 70 patches and more.

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  7. #7  
    To clarify a bit on licenses.
    MIT, Public Domain, Creative Commons all allow free reuse of your code. LGPL requires acknowledgment and links to your source code only. GPL expressly prohibits reusing your code commercially. That is to say, GPL is the most profit friendly open source license(yes i actually read the whole thing.) If you don't really care then likely MIT is a good choice. If you want to sell your app or just don't want others to be free to do so then go GPL. LGPL is really just for libraries and the like so don't use that for a whole app. Oh, and BSD is kind of between GPL and LGPL. Not totally sure on the specifics as I haven't read that one. But what I gathered from a quick glance is that it allows reuse of your code for commercial or non-commercial use but requires acknowledgment of the original code and author as well as release of source code.

    That bit aside. That particular app likely won't sell enough to cover the costs. Might want to consider open source or ad-supported or both. Just a few quick stat's: average paid game sells around 3000 copies. average free game is up around 80k copies. Something specialized like your app will probably fall somewhat lower than average(<500/50000). That is to say, it's a nice little app, but people will most likely skim right over it in the app catalog if it's not free. Which, sadly enough, is kinda the case with most entertainment based apps(Note that the top Paid Hot App is YouView and most of the other apps in the paid running are productivity apps)
    Last edited by unfairSurprisery; 04/18/2010 at 08:51 PM. Reason: typo

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