xTuple consults community on best license options

xTuple, the makers of PostBooks, the compelling PostgreSQL-based accounting and CRM suite have started a discussion about how to move to a more recognised license.

It is really good to see a company dealing with these issues in an open manner and engaging the community for feedback. For those who are familiar with these issues or have practical experience of how businesses have been successful with GPL and other free licenses, please share your comments on John's blog.

Some of the reasons why companies need to think about licensing issues like this:

  • They not only want to be open source, they also want to engage the community through Github, hoping to make it easier for developer collaboration. A familiar license makes this easier.
  • They want to extend the product more rapidly by using other open source libraries and need to maintain compatibility of licenses. Using a less well known license can make this more awkward. In the case of xTuple, they are now using a number of libraries and frameworks to support their powerful new web front end.
  • Having a recognised and respected license like GPL can also be a factor in other initiatives like crowd funding.


Just to comment, you have to sign up for their stuff. Then, they're demanding copyright assignment. To an excellent approximation, this is telling people they're welcome to contribute their work to a product they will never have a chance to make money from. I'm sure they can't mean it, but that looks like a giant upraised middle finger toward those outside developers, and I don't think they'll get any takers.