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  1. #1
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    Commercial use of community provided open source software

    I'm delighted to see that there is a commercial enterprise investing in producing new squeezebox hardware. I'd love to see the community and the platform expand, which would inevitably happen if such a venture was a success.
    There is specific financial risk in doing what they doing, so, the best of luck to them.

    One of the obvious benefits of the platform is the community provided plugins which, universally, are free and open source. I really appreciate that developers can easily maintain control of distribution through the 3rd party plugins, easily support the community through the self hosted release process, and share the support burden through the forum.

    Now, I'm not complaining, I proactively made my plugins available with the GPL3 licence (like LMS itself), so I have specifically said that they can do what they are doing with the plugins.

    However, I feel a bit uneasy (in a way that I can't quite put my finger on), that plugins are being preloaded onto a forked LMS distribution on a commercial piece of hardware. Two of my plugins have been specifically mentioned by them on their website
    : https://polyvection.com/en/product/c...specifications .

    In their situation (where they are creating a new distribution method for active open source software), I'd like to think that I would have at least, out of courtesy, reached out to the individual developers involved to forewarn them of my intentions.
    That doesn't seem to have been the case, I've noticed that there are people who have made a much much more significant contribution than me that also appear to be surprised.

    I'm not entirely sure what my point is! But I just wanted to articulate my thoughts to open up the discussion and find out if I should just have a word with myself and get over it!

  2. #2
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    I suspect a temporary politeness oversight on their side given that they did contact the Squeeze-ESP32 team.

    However, I think they would need to be careful about listing the plugins on their site where the names have a 3rd-party name such as a big national broadcaster or major streaming provider. Those organisations are more likely to complain with the voice of a lawyer if they fear they are being used to endorse something commerical.
    Paul Webster
    http://dabdig.blogspot.com
    Author of "Now Playing" plugins covering Radio France (FIP etc), PlanetRadio (Bauer - Kiss, Absolute, Scala, JazzFM etc), KCRW, Supla Finland, ABC Australia, CBC/Radio-Canada and RTE Ireland

  3. #3
    Babelfish's Best Boy mherger's Avatar
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    Commercial use of community provided open sourcesoftware

    > However, I feel a bit uneasy (in a way that I can't quite put my finger
    > on), that plugins are being preloaded onto a forked LMS distribution on
    > a commercial piece of hardware. Two of my plugins have been
    > specifically mentioned by them on their website


    I feel you! But... I think "you're pointing at the wrong guys". It's
    funny that the topic would come up now, when a vendor is openly
    communicating, trying to participate in the community.

    Many vendors have sold machines running LMS with some of the plugins for
    years. But you've probably never come across them, because they're in
    the 4-5 digit dollar number market. And they hide LMS from the
    customers. I have such a box in my office. It's running PC class
    hardware, a fat amp, and the full LMS/Squeezeplay stack. But they don't
    expose the LMS UI, and Squeezeplay has been skinned differently (not
    nicer :-)).

    Or just a week or two ago a company got in touch with me with questions
    about LMS. They sell 25kUSD players. Specs read like real datacenter
    server specs (Intel Xeon CPU, hundreds of GBs of RAM, TBs of SSD etc.).
    But those guys prefer to keep low profile, because they don't want their
    customers to learn that they could have similar performance in a 100USD
    package, running a Pi instead.

    What bugs me most about them is that I've never ever seen any
    contribution to the community. You have no idea how many of them claimed
    to be working on their own TIDAL or Pandora or You Name It service
    implementation, and that they would share it with the community...

    PolyVection OTOH is here, talking to us, comes up with a solution which
    IMHO does respond to requests from the community (easy to install, no
    tinkering involved), and for a reasonable price which most of us could
    affort. And from what I understand they provide patches upstreams
    (haven't personally seen one yet ;-)). That's much different in my opinion.

    > In their situation (where they are creating a new distribution method
    > for active open source software), I'd like to think that I would have
    > at least, out of courtesy, reached out to the individual developers
    > involved to forewarn them of my intentions.


    They did get in touch with some of us, but probably not all of us.


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mherger View Post
    PolyVection OTOH is here, talking to us, comes up with a solution which
    IMHO does respond to requests from the community (easy to install, no
    tinkering involved), and for a reasonable price which most of us could
    affort. And from what I understand they provide patches upstreams
    (haven't personally seen one yet ;-)). That's much different in my opinion.
    Yes, I've no doubt of their positive intent. It probably was because they were posting on the forum and engaging with the community that I expected them to be more polite.
    In particular, make more effort to indicate the community provided status of the plugins facilitating the music services they are using to promote their product on their website.

    Quote Originally Posted by mherger View Post
    They did get in touch with some of us, but probably not all of us.
    Ah ok, that is good to hear (I can just take personal umbridge! )

  5. #5
    jvromans@squirrel.nl
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    Commercial use of community provided open sourcesoftware

    On Wed, 10 Mar 2021 11:36:25 +0000, Paul Webster wrote:

    > However, I think they would need to be careful about listing the plugins
    > on their site where the names have a 3rd-party name such as [...]
    > major streaming provider.


    In particular, Spotify could close their gateway. Music played via LMS is
    not accounted for and a couple of dozens of enthousiasts will not harm, but
    if products like these catch on in big numbers they may change their policy.

    -- Johan

  6. #6
    Senior Member erland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by expectingtofly View Post
    Now, I'm not complaining, I proactively made my plugins available with the GPL3 licence (like LMS itself), so I have specifically said that they can do what they are doing with the plugins.
    Donít be afraid of commercial ventures, especially those that participate in the community and produce something that could increase the interest for the community.

    A commercial venture that openly says they are using LMS is a good thing. If Logitech would eventually decide to stop maintaining/hosting LMS related services there is always a chance commercial parties that openly rely on LMS would pick up the stick and ensure the community can continue.

    As long as they fulfill the LMS/plugin licensing terms we should IMHO welcome them.
    If you donít want someone else to earn money on your work you shouldnít release it under GPL or most other open source licenses. Some people think GPL/open source means free but in reality itís more about giving anyone that uses it the possibility to enhance/improve your work. Basically encourage (but not forcing) users/companies to give something back.

    If you only want better credit for your work reach out to them and discuss if something could be done to make you more satisfied. Maybe they are open to mention you by name since they mention your plugins as part of their product on their web site. Basically, try to work with them rather than against them.
    Erland Isaksson (My homepage)
    Developer of many plugins/applets
    Starting with LMS 8.0 I no longer support my plugins/applets (see here for more information )

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by erland View Post

    If you don’t want someone else to earn money on your work you shouldn’t release it under GPL or most other open source licenses. Some people think GPL/open source means free but in reality it’s more about giving anyone that uses it the possibility to enhance/improve your work. Basically encourage (but not forcing) users/companies to give something back.
    Of course, as I think you realise, I fully understand that, and I stated as much in my original post. I fully knew what I was doing when releasing plugins under GPL

    Quote Originally Posted by erland View Post
    If you only want better credit for your work reach out to them and discuss if something could be done to make you more satisfied. Maybe they are open to mention you by name since they mention your plugins as part of their product on their web site. Basically, try to work with them rather than against them.
    I've no idea why you think I am working against them, I've said repeatedly that I wish them well.

    I was trying to articulate that I, in their situation, would have reached out to the developers involved. As it turns out, they have been, just not to me.

    I think what you are saying to me (as mentioned in my original post) is yes, "I should have a word with myself, and get over it!"

  8. #8
    Senior Member erland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by expectingtofly View Post
    I was trying to articulate that I, in their situation, would have reached out to the developers involved. As it turns out, they have been, just not to me.

    I think what you are saying to me (as mentioned in my original post) is yes, "I should have a word with myself, and get over it!"
    For what itís worth I can understand your feeling, it always feels better if companies using open source/community software commercially would ask for permission.

    However, I can honestly say that I personally use open source libraries on daily basis in my day work and I donít think Iíve ever asked anyone for permission. Itís one of the big advantages with open source software, you just have to ensure you fulfill the license terms and doesnít have to spend time asking for permission and signing contracts. Iím pretty sure Logitech havenít asked for permission from everyone who have developed code in all the Perl libraries LMS relies on.
    Erland Isaksson (My homepage)
    Developer of many plugins/applets
    Starting with LMS 8.0 I no longer support my plugins/applets (see here for more information )

  9. #9
    jvromans@squirrel.nl
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    Commercial use of community provided open sourcesoftware

    On Wed, 10 Mar 2021 18:08:45 +0000, erland wrote:

    > I can honestly say that I personally use open source libraries
    > on daily basis in my day work and I don_t think I_ve ever asked anyone
    > for permission.


    I don't think that is the point.

    When a commercial (or similar big) party forks a (substantial) open source
    project, it would be nice if they would show some gratitude, preferably in
    the form of giving back bug fixes and/or enhancements. This always leads to
    mutual benefit.

    -- Johan

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by erland View Post
    However, I can honestly say that I personally use open source libraries on daily basis in my day work and I don’t think I’ve ever asked anyone for permission. It’s one of the big advantages with open source software, you just have to ensure you fulfill the license terms and doesn’t have to spend time asking for permission and signing contracts. I’m pretty sure Logitech haven’t asked for permission from everyone who have developed code in all the Perl libraries LMS relies on.
    Well, I get your point, and of course I also use open source libraries constantly, and the entire spectrum of my computer use relies on open source code. However, I am sure you can see the subtle difference in this situation. It's the degree of separation and direct reuse and redistribution. Which, as I keep saying, is completely fine, they are absolutely entitled to so. I was just trying to articulate my feelings about it.

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