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SugarCRM 6 Released, But Is It Open Source?

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the depends-what-the-meaning-of-open-is dept.

Open Source 357

darthcamaro writes "SugarCRM markets itself as a professional open source company and this week released version 6 of its Sugar platform. But the main new feature is a new user interface that isn't available to users of the community version — it's only available to paying users. No they don't claim to be open core either, they claim it's all open source, even if you have to pay for it. '"Open source doesn't mean free and was never really meant to mean free," Martin Schneider, senior director of communications at SugarCRM, said. "Open source runs through everything we do, it enables us to be transparent and gives customers more power. We are an open source company and it's why we're better than proprietary companies."'"

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He's right (4, Insightful)

iplayfast (166447) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896356)

There's nothing about open source that means no cost.

Re:He's right (2, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896390)

Not directly.
But (AFAIK) if you pay for an open source (as OSI defines it) product, you are allowed to copy and give it away at no cost.

Re:He's right (1)

n3v (412497) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896436)

OSI?

Haven't you ever seen the Venture Brothers?

Re:He's right (2, Informative)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896524)

Not directly.
But (AFAIK) if you pay for an open source (as OSI defines it) product, you are allowed to copy and give it away at no cost.

That depends upon the license used. With the GPL and BSD, then you're absolutely right.

However, there could be an open source license that doesn't allow this. Find a counter-example is left as a problem for the reader.

Re:He's right (3, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896548)

If there were it wouldn't be open source. Anything that would prevent this would prevent you from modifying and distributing your modified version. That is the core of open source and without that ability a license isn't open source.

Re:He's right (0, Troll)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896584)

If there were it wouldn't be open source. Anything that would prevent this would prevent you from modifying and distributing your modified version. That is the core of open source and without that ability a license isn't open source.

No, there is no reason I know of that would prevent an open source license from preventing indiscriminate distribution. Primarily, it requires that all rights that you have be granted to anyone that you distribute them to.

If you can cite a requirement that an open source license must allow indiscriminate distribution, then I will willingly eat my words.

Re:He's right (3, Funny)

NNKK (218503) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896602)

Have you tried actually reading the first criteria of the open source definition?

http://opensource.org/docs/osd [opensource.org]

Re:He's right (3, Informative)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896640)

Section 1 only requires that redistribution rights be granted to people when made a part of an aggregate work from multiple sources.

This means you are not guaranteed the right to just copy the code out to anyone and everyone... without created an aggregate work.

Re:He's right (4, Funny)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896748)

That's nice. However, there are other sections besides section 1. They aren't there just to help with the feng shui of the site.

Re:He's right (0, Troll)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896754)

That's nice. However, there are other sections besides section 1. They aren't there just to help with the feng shui of the site.

Naturally, and I'd be happy to cover any of the other sections.

Section 3 provides that one can freely distribute modifications and derivative works. We weren't talking about a modified or derivative work, we were talking about redistributing the original.

Re:He's right (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896788)

That's nice. However, there are other sections besides section 1. They aren't there just to help with the feng shui of the site.

Naturally, and I'd be happy to cover any of the other sections.

Section 3 provides that one can freely distribute modifications and derivative works. We weren't talking about a modified or derivative work, we were talking about redistributing the original.

So I change a few labels then redistribute .......

Re:He's right (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896790)

Try section 2.

Re:He's right (1)

ksandom (718283) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896822)

Section 1 only requires that redistribution rights be granted to people when made a part of an aggregate work from multiple sources. This means you are not guaranteed the right to just copy the code out to anyone and everyone... without created an aggregate work.

How did this get marked as troll?

Re:He's right (5, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896696)

That's *an* open source definition, not *the* open source definition.

Re:He's right (0, Troll)

Inconexo (1401585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896894)

Wrong.

OSI invented the term, so their definition is the valid one. If you want another definition, try inventing a new term.

Re:He's right (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896606)

Someone else already pointed to http://opensource.org/docs/osd [opensource.org] but he pointed to requirement 1. It's actually 3.

Re:He's right (1, Informative)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896628)

You deny Section 1, but claim Section 3.

Section 3 only requires the right to distribution to be granted when there is a modification or derivative work.

Section 3 cannot be used to justify simply copying the source code and sending it out to anyone.

Re:He's right (3, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896656)

When did I deny section 1? I just said it isn't the relevant section.

Change the title and you'd fall under section 3, package it alongside the source to any of the required libraries and you'd fall under section 1.

Any way you slice it, there is no license that could in any practical manner prevent free redistribution and still be open source let alone free software.

Re:He's right (0, Troll)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896674)

When did I deny section 1? I just said it isn't the relevant section.

Ok, I'll clarify for the intellect impaired: "You dismiss section 1 as being applicable, so I won't deal with it here."

Change the title and you'd fall under section 3, package it alongside the source to any of the required libraries and you'd fall under section 1.

Neither of these were stated conditions. The argument was that you could just buy it, and distribute it without change, and without aggregating it.

Any way you slice it, there is no license that could in any practical manner prevent free redistribution and still be open source let alone free software.

I never said anything about practicality. I said that it could be possible to construct a license that fit the open source definition, yet still did not allow indiscriminate redistribution. (That one can restrict it to only aggregate redistributions means not indiscriminate.)

Re:He's right (2, Interesting)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896718)

I imagine this is why people hate lawyers...

everything is couched in such terms that they know are unassailable, and even when a reasonable argument can be mounted against it, there are still the technicalities introduced intentionally at the start to ensure that they can't be wrong.

I cannot claim that the vast majority of people reading what I wrote will not make invalid assumptions about what I meant, and thus make me sound like I was wrong, but seriously...

The OSI requirements for open source license definitions would allow me to make a license that prevents people from distributing unmodified copies of my program in anything but aggregated products.

Essentially, only avoiding the specific case of people pawning off my direct unmodified works individually. Which is the only thing I objected to in the first place.

Re:He's right (2, Interesting)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896716)


No, Snowgirl is right. Though I see you got your +1 Sounds Confident mods. What you are describing is Free (capital 'F') software, also known as "libre" software. Open Source does not mean anything other than you have the source available. For example, so you can inspect it for security reasons, so you can make in-house only changes. Free Software however, is what you get under the GPL. Free Software must of course be Open Source, but the inverse is not the case.

Hear that booming tread? That's Richard Stallman walking up your drive with a four hour lecture of the philosophy of information sharing. I'd hide under your desk if I were you. ;)

Re:He's right (2, Insightful)

tapanitarvainen (1155821) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896872)

No, Snowgirl is right. [...] Open Source does not mean anything other than you have the source available. For example, so you can inspect it for security reasons, so you can make in-house only changes

No. It used to be fairly common to sell software with source code, with explicit restriction that it may not be redistributed: source was only provided for in-house use. That is certainly not open source.

Open Source does imply the right to redistribute, and that's explicitly allowed in every OSI license, snowgirl's legalistic quibbling notwithstanding: the definition referred is not a license or any other legally binding document, and if someone really tried to make a license that explicitly forbids redistribution of the program in unmodified and non-aggregated form, I'm sure ISO would reject it - possibly clarifying their definition, if they thought it was necessary - but the intent of the definition is clear enough, whether or not it appears legally watertight.

Re:He's right (2, Interesting)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896926)

No. It used to be fairly common to sell software with source code, with explicit restriction that it may not be redistributed: source was only provided for in-house use. That is certainly not open source.

I remember those days, believe it or not. :) No, that really was (and still is) open source. What we have going on here, is a group (the OSI) attempting to re-define Open Source to be synonymous with Free Software. Perhaps one day they will succeed and we'll have to start referring to any open source software that isn't also licensed under something like the GPL as "shared source". One day, perhaps, but (best Aragorn voice) it is not this day!.

Seriously, if you want to refer to software that is both open source and includes the right to distribute and modify, call it "Free Software" like the FSF, or "Libre" software. It's nice, unambiguous, is an existing term and doesn't confuse half the software world which is still filled with people like me who recall Open Source meaning only that the source code is available.

Re:He's right (3, Informative)

Eivind (15695) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896706)

http://opensource.org/docs/osd [opensource.org]

Requirement #1 is "Free Redistribution", i.e. that you have the freedom to, without limitation, redistribute the software.

Would you like ketchup with that ?

Re:He's right (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896750)

http://opensource.org/docs/osd [opensource.org]

Requirement #1 is "Free Redistribution", i.e. that you have the freedom to, without limitation, redistribute the software.

Would you like ketchup with that ?

Only in an aggregate work. Not as an individual work... which I believe the original objection was about.

Re:He's right (3, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896794)

http://opensource.org/docs/osd [opensource.org]

Requirement #1 is "Free Redistribution", i.e. that you have the freedom to, without limitation, redistribute the software.

Would you like ketchup with that ?

Only in an aggregate work. Not as an individual work... which I believe the original objection was about.

OK so I package it with a picture of your mum sucking my dick

Re:He's right (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896742)

If you can cite a requirement that an open source license must allow indiscriminate distribution, then I will willingly eat my words.

It would be far more interesting if you could cite even a hypothetical license that meets the commonly accepted criteria of open source but manages to disallow "indiscriminate distribution".

Re:He's right (2, Interesting)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896782)

It would be far more interesting if you could cite even a hypothetical license that meets the commonly accepted criteria of open source but manages to disallow "indiscriminate distribution".

The license does not allow redistribution of the original code in any form except when included in an aggregate work. (Satisfies section 1)

The license requires that distribution of the original source code cannot be done, but that modifications and derivative works may be distributed as patches. (Potentially satisfies section 3)

Alternatively, the license requires that the original code may not be distributed unless modification is made or a derivative work made. (Definitively satisfies section 3)

Thus, this prevents the specific claimed action, of simply buying and then distributing unedited.

Re:He's right (1)

Inconexo (1401585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896906)

Can you provide an OSI-certified example?

Re:He's right (1)

BigDXLT (1218924) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896642)

I think the trouble is in overloading the term "open". It's certainly not closed source. Someone witty from marketing should come up with a name for these semi-open source licenses. Paid source, perhaps?

Re:He's right (2, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896666)

I think Microsoft came up with one, shared source.

Re:He's right (5, Informative)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896692)


Has anyone here actually read the article (I know, stupid assumption). SugarCRM has a dual licence. There's a "Community Edition" and a "Professional Edition" (also an Enterprise Edition, but that's not different from Professional - it's just the support offers sort of thing as far as I recall).

Now the Professional Version is obviously not "closed source" because it's a great sprawling PHP application so they have to give you the source. But that doesn't make it "Free Software". It requires a licence on a per user basis. In contrast, the Community Version is what we call "Badgeware". You can download it free, you can deploy it free with whatever users you like and you're free to make and distribute plugins and such for it. But you can't remove the SugarCRM logo and weblink for example. (In fact, there are some amusing little attempts to prevent people from doing that in the code, e.g. the legal notice that comes up if you alter the SugarCRM image doesn't appear as text in the files, but encoded as base64).

Anyway, there's an open sourcish community around the Community Edition that write tools for it. But, IMO, the whole thing doesn't feel very open sourcey. What it comes down to is not an issue of programming, so much as it comes down to business needs. SugarCRM has a system of "modules" - pluggable business entities such as Contacts, Product Lists, Accounts, etc. The great big difference between the Community and Professional versions is that the Professional version comes with additional modules. And for most businesses (I would say), they're modules that you really need. There are various other bits and pieces like the Professional Edition supports workflows whereas the Community Edition does not.

What it comes down to, is that SugarCRM has a community edition which serves as a good bit of PR, a hook to get in new users and a source of occasional free bug-fixes. But most serious businesses - the ones who actually are potential customers - will end up needing the features of the non-Free Professional Edition. There are attempts to replicate some of what the Professional Edition does in the Community one, but from what I've seen they don't really compare and of course the company itself isn't helping much because primarily they want people to buy the Professional Edition to get those features. Their forums are also littered with unanswered technical questions. If you're a paying customer and you file a support request with them, you get fixes (in my limited experience with them), but if you're a Community type asking questions on the forums, you take your chances. It would also be pretty difficult to make any substantial changes to the code base because you're always tailing the Professional Edition which SugarCRM control. So if you write a wonderful new thing for it (the do-it-yourself Open Source way), expect there to be a good chance that it will be incompatible shortly.

I actually quite like the model of a free version of software and then a paid-for pro version with extra coolness. It's a model that works well. But when you combine that with Open Source, it becomes a little more dubious (maybe) because there's the possibility that you use the name of Open Source but create a system where in practice, people can't meaningfully participate and it's primarily a hook into the paid version. This is where I feel SugarCRM are. I have no doubt that there are people using the Community Edition for business purposes, but I think what I describe is the bird's eye view of the situation.

Re:He's right (2, Insightful)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896704)

If there were it wouldn't be open source. Anything that would prevent this would prevent you from modifying and distributing your modified version. That is the core of open source and without that ability a license isn't open source.

The term "open" means the source is open for you to view and perhaps compile for yourself. That's it. The problem with today's open source movement is that people now automatically assume that because something is open source, it must be free. There's more benefit to being open source than just being free. You can view the source and see exactly what's powering the program, run your own audits, find your own bugs, and make sure that what's running on your machine is exactly and only what you want running on your machine. Being free happens to be an extra perk for most open source software, but it is definitely not required.

Re:He's right (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896688)

There cannot be a counterexample, not if you use the conventional definition of "Open Source". The two common definitions for that, is the one from the Open Source Initiative, which states as one of the 4 freedoms that must be guaranteed for a license to qualify as open source that: (and I quote)

"The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. The license shall not require a royalty or other fee for such sale."

You can look at FSFs definition of "Free Software" if it suits you better, but it says the same thing, though in more words.

The freedom to redistribute, is one of the central freedoms in Open Source. If that freedom is limited, for example by insistence that you -must- charge for such redistribution, the software in question, does not qualify as Open Source. (nor as Free Software)

Re:He's right (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896724)

Note my above comments that have all been unfortunately marked "troll" or more accurately should have been marked "rules lawyer".

I can produce a license that the OSI would approve that does not allow for the immediate action that I objected to right here: buying the original, taking the source code, and redistributing it singularly... without any modification or derivative work.

Re:He's right (1)

tapanitarvainen (1155821) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896892)

I can produce a license that the OSI would approve that does not allow for the immediate action that I objected to right here: buying the original, taking the source code, and redistributing it singularly... without any modification or derivative work.

I don't think you can. Feel free to try though. OSI is not bound to your reading of their definition - or any other outsider's reading of it for that matter, and they can ignore obviously unintentional loopholes, or amend the definition to close them if they choose.

Re:He's right (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32896950)

Looks like you're technically right from reading the OSI criteria (and I blew a couple of mod points to counter the 'troll' mods) but you're standing on a very small patch of ground.

Your theoretical licence would be super-easy to work around with trivial aggregation or trivial modification, as others have pointed out. It appears to be counter to the aims of OSI, but I'd guess that since it's such a feeble loophole it's not worth plugging.

KDawson Strikes Again! (0, Flamebait)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896514)

Guys, it's a KDawson story, which means the "summary" - such that it is - is guaranteed to be misleading and possibly completely wrong.

Re:KDawson Strikes Again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32896914)

Guys, it's a KDawson story, which means the "summary" - such that it is - is guaranteed to be misleading and possibly completely wrong.

Unfortunately, in this case it is not!

Re:He's right (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32896518)

Thanks for quoting chapter-and-verse from the slashbot textbook, but you are still an idiot.

There's a shitload of "open source" web apps out there which have some totally half-assed "community version" which is under an open source licence. Of course this is only put out there as a demo to tempt one to test the product. If you are foolish enough to actually deploy the "community edition", you will quickly find that the open source version is broken, missing features, your boss will be screaming at you and eventually you will have to suck it up to buy the "enterprise edition" that actually works as advertised.

Or, if you turn to the "community", you will only find a group of people on the vendor forums bitching about the same issues you have, usually with no resolution. You will not find a bugzilla, SVN, or anything else to help you resolve these issues.

This is a valid business strategy because the Slashdot POV is mentally retarded, and any company who puts a Slashbot into a decision-making position deserves to be raped for maximum financial advantage. It's not like you dildos will actually fork the code and do anything useful with it, so why not take advantage of your moronic ideological naivete?

Well yeah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32896360)

Yes it is still open source, since you actually get the source code with the product. It doesn't need to be free as in beer to be free.

And of course..... FIRST!

Re:Well yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32896432)

you fail. in the lamest possible way. not only did you try to get a first post in, which smells pretty much like fucking failure as it is, but you've now been recorded as trying to fail, and fucking failing at that! what a loser.

Re:Well yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32896590)

oh come on you assholes, that was fucking funny and you know it!

Well.. (4, Insightful)

ak_hepcat (468765) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896362)

Sure, if it's open source, then one paying customer can take the source and fork it back out to everybody else for gratis.

That's what open source means.

Trying to disguise commercially licensed software as open source is setting yourself up for failure.

Re:Well.. (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896448)

Yes, the community edition is AGPL, but they dont say anything about what license the Pro/Enterprise versions are.

Re:Well.. (1)

glob (23034) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896586)

> Sure, if it's open source, then one paying customer can take the source and fork it back out to everybody else for gratis

correct; mysql have the same business model, and there are places [provenscaling.com] where you can legally grab the enterprise editions.

Re:Well.. (2, Informative)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896746)

Sort of. MySQL has a really interesting clause in the community edition, you are not allowed to bundle the database with 3rd party applications. If we wanted to use MySQL and package it with our Point of Sale software, the cost is $500 per install last time I checked. (That was with Sun, god only knows with Oracle). Hence this was one of many reasons we elected to go with PostgreSQL as part of our installation.

Re:Well.. (4, Informative)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896638)

Depends, things like PA-DSS and HIPPA suddenly can throw a monkey wrench into things. We forked an opensource project with the goal of getting it PA-DSS certified so we could use it to continue processing credit cards after July 1st of this year. We've done the audit and now just waiting for the paperwork to go through to get it listed as "certified" software. However, only versions signed and distributed by our organization is certified. Like SugarCRM, we only give out the code to customers who are paying for support contracts.

They are free to download the code and they could even compile and use the code in house and be okay under PCI-DSS. However the monkey wrench comes if they decided to compile the application and then distribute their version to other parties. Technically those 3rd parties would not be able to use the software to process credit cards since the version would not be "PA-DSS certified". And while the software would still be functional, if you used the uncertified version to process credit cards, then one could lose their merchant account. And processing credit cards is a MAJOR feature of the product and too risky for a lot of businesses to consider using it without that certification.

So while one could have all the source code, the source code without the "PA-DSS Certification" certificate doesn't do folks much good in practice.

Magento is doing something similar. Only their "Enterprise" version is PA-DSS certified. The Community Edition is not. And I suspect we're going to start to see more of this as time goes forward. I'm not saying it will be impossible to do it, but it is extremely hard. PA-DSS certification requires a lot of documentation and about $25k up front to pay for auditing, the PCI-SSC, and the best part is the validation is only good for 3 years. That's either a lot of community donations or someone bank rolling the operation.

Re:Well.. (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896814)

No, that's if it's GPL. If it's Open Source, it means that each customer can dick around with the source themselves, and don't have to rely on their vendor to do it. That's what Open Source is - you get the product, you get the code too. IIRC, that's what started Stallman's crusade - he got a binary blob of a printer driver that sucked, and he couldn't fix it 'cause he didn't have the code.

Now, the most popular Open Source licenses (GPL, BSD, etc) don't work that way. BSD puts no restrictions on distribution, GPL says that you're allowed to distribute only if you also distribute the code with it. But that doesn't mean commercial and Open Source are polar opposites - proprietary and Open Source are, but not commercial.

Oh my (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32896364)

/facepalm incoming Stallman rant.

Open source (3, Insightful)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896368)

They only give the source to paying customers. But do they prevent those paying customers from redistributing the source? If not, then it really is open source. Nothing about open source requires that owner of the code give it out to everyone, but if there are restrictions on redistribution, it's not open source.

Re:Open source (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32896388)

EVERYTHING about open source requires that the owner give it out to everyone. If it is not free of cost and restrictions, it is not open source.

Re:Open source (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896528)

That's not true. If they are the owners of the project and I am not a paying customer, they are under no obligation to provide me a copy of the source.

If they claim to be open source (as defined by OSI) then they have to give me 100% of the source as a paying customer, and if it is truly open source, I can choose to distribute that same source code to others, or even create a derivative product, like the folks over at CentOS (and previously White Box Enterprise Linux) do with Red Hat (er, I mean, "a prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor") Enterprise Linux. :)

Re:Open source (1)

srh2o (442608) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896658)

You are completely incorrect in regards to what Centos is doing and how they do it. Red Hat makes their source code to Enterprise linux versions availabel to anyone. The only things not open source are their trademarks and images. Download yourself if you like. http://ftp.redhat.com/pub/redhat/linux/enterprise/5Server/en/os/ [redhat.com] As for the GPL well version 3 has a section that clarifies this 10. Automatic Licensing of Downstream Recipients. Even under GPL 2 the hassle involved in trying to avoid making your source generally available is more hassle then it's worth as there is simply no way to prevent your source code from becoming generally available.

Re:Open source (2, Interesting)

emurphy42 (631808) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896422)

A bit of poking around indicates that the community edition is released under GPL v3 and the paid edition is released under this [sugarcrm.com] variation of the Mozilla PL. Someone want to dig through it and work it out?

Re:Open source (3, Interesting)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896570)

A bit of poking around indicates that the community edition is released under GPL v3 and the paid edition is released under this [sugarcrm.com] variation of the Mozilla PL. Someone want to dig through it and work it out?

*reads reads reads*

Section 2.1, and Section 2.2 pretty much say you can distribute the original code with or without modification indiscriminately. ... So... yeah, one should be able to simply buy it once and then "fork" it from the original and provide it free.

Re:Open source (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896720)

You maybe able to fork it, but you can't call it SugarCRM or use their artwork. Same thing with FireFox, OpenbravoERP, or anything else using a Mozilla style license.

Re:Open source (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896738)

You maybe able to fork it, but you can't call it SugarCRM or use their artwork. Same thing with FireFox, OpenbravoERP, or anything else using a Mozilla style license.

That's typically trademark issues, etc. If there is no modification involved at all, there's no actionable offense for a trademark claim... you're simply redistributing their product. Their trademark is still being applied solely to their product, nothing more, nothing less.

Re:Open source (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896744)


It's what Bruce Shneider terms "Badgeware" (afaik, the term originates with him). You're not entirely free to do what you want with it. You have to keep the SugarCRM logo and link in there unaltered and unadjusted. In practice this means you have to stick with their UI and you'll always have a big old footer at the bottom with their logo.

Re:Open source (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32896438)

So what you're saying is, open source is pirate friendly?

Re:Open source (1)

wolverine1999 (126497) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896456)

AFAIK they don't.

This is like NASA's open source software. It's very expensive actually.

Public Domain (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32896596)

Actually, anything that NASA does is in the public domain for U.S. citizens.

Re:Public Domain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32896896)

Try to get NASTRAN for free, then.

Re:Open source (4, Insightful)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896530)

"open source" is one of those terms made up of two words who's meaning appears to be redefinable to suit the needs of any given agenda. That's why terms like 'GPL' and 'BSD' are more useful as they define what the terms of the 'openness" are. On slashdot "open source" and "GPL" are mostly synonymous but not necessarily in some industries.

but if there are restrictions on redistribution, it's not open source.

Well even GPL fails at that. It places the restriction that if you distribute the binary then you must make the source available too. That's kind of the opposite kind of restriction to what you were saying but it's still a restriction in that it limits your freedom to do what you want with the code, but only in as far as you can't deny others the freedom you were granted, which is widely considered to be a good restriction.

Even Microsoft open their source to various organisations (academic mostly). I think they don't ever refer to it as "open source" though but "shared source" instead, so I guess they are off the hook.

I'm not so sure about his comment (0)

msobkow (48369) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896384)

While it's true that open source does not mean free as in beer, it's pretty damned hard to lock out a segment of the user community (i.e. non-paying users) when the source code is released, allowing anybody to build the "missing" feature.

If that source code isn't made available, then you're not an open source company.

Open Source Product vs Company (1)

heikkile (111814) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896662)

If that source code isn't made available, then you're not an open source company.

Technically, a single company can have products licensed for both closed and open licenses - I know, I work for one. They can even offer the same product under an Open Source license, and under a different license. Owning the copyright, they can fork the product, implement some features only in one version, and release that only under a closed source license.

Of course, nothing prevents anyone from taking a version that has been released under an Open Source license, and (re)implementing the features the company only offers under a closed license. Except that it requires time, effort, and know-how.

Re:Open Source Product vs Company (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896766)

Or one or more of the three "T's": Time, Talent, Treasure

Re:I'm not so sure about his comment (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896804)

While it's true that open source does not mean free as in beer, it's pretty damned hard to lock out a segment of the user community (i.e. non-paying users) when the source code is released, allowing anybody to build the "missing" feature.

Heh heh! You're right in theory, wrong in practice. SugarCRM has an important system in it called "modules". These are analogues of various business concepts, so there's a Contacts module, a Product Catalogue module, et al. The Professional Edition comes with some significant modules which, I'd say 75% of companies really need. Yes, the Community Edition people can write their own versions of these modules (as far as I'm aware - I don't know if SugarCRM legally could or would come down on them for making very similar free versions), but a substantial part of the utility of SugarCRM is in these modules. So what you're talking about is a fair bit of work. Also, they'll inter-relate. So if you buy the Professional Edition and get to use the Leads module, you get the functionality that can transform Leads into Contacts, relate them to Accounts, etc. Finally, SugarCRM the company control the code base and drive it with their Professional Edition. So you might write something wonderful that they like and incorporate into the main code body, but you might also find that having spent three weeks writing a cool equivalent to one of their modules, SugarCRM shrugs, makes some changes that will break it and rolls out the latest version of the Community Edition. In theory, if you're really awesome, at that point you could create a fork and the rest of the Community Edition users would follow you. In practice, that's not going to happen.

So I appreciate where you're coming from - I expect you're an engineer of some variety and have the in-built assumption that everyone else works to maximise interoperabilty and flexibility that you do, but in fact this has not matched the reality in this instance, I'm sorry to say. :(

Regards,
H.

Slashdot is become fark/geek (0, Offtopic)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896406)

I wish I had not seen the day. C'mon guys. You're better than this. /15 modpoints and nothing to spend them on.

Re:Slashdot is become fark/geek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32896568)

and you aren't exactly helping Slashdot's reputation of being populated by clueless tards by namedropping irrelevant 1990s era sites like fark.com.

Is this an article or an ad? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32896418)

Welcome article reader, we have an ad for you barely disguised as an article.

Microsoft also release MFC and the CRT library. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32896468)

Are the open source?

Re:Microsoft also release MFC and the CRT library. (0, Troll)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896492)

Well, Microsoft will certainly insist so. As with this SugarCRM crap though I and many others will disagree.

Re:Microsoft also release MFC and the CRT library. (2, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896820)

Well, Microsoft will certainly insist so.

Actually, no, it will not. MS is careful with OSS in general, and this extends to labeling its own products. It will only be called open source if it really is open source - e.g. IronPython or ASP.NET MVC, both released under licenses which OSI considers "open source", and FSF considers "Free software".

For other cases where code is available but there are strings attached (typically this means no redistribution) - MFC & ATL, .NET class library, Rotor etc - different terms, such as "shared source" and "reference source", are used.

Re:Microsoft also release MFC and the CRT library. (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896776)

They're careful to use terms like 'shared source.' This let's them provide some of the benefits while marketing continue to abuse open-source.

Use "gratis" not "free" (4, Insightful)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896476)

Can we please stop using "free" when we mean "gratis". You know, when something doesn't cost anything. "free" is too ambiguous.

Re:Use "gratis" not "free" (2, Informative)

iamnobody2 (859379) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896538)

or how 'bout we use "open" instead of free. "free" is too ambiguous. (i'd much rather use free as gratis then free as in open)

Re:Use "gratis" not "free" (0, Troll)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896572)

OK, you are free to use that term freely.

Re:Use "gratis" not "free" (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896544)

"free" is too ambiguous.

And therein lies the fun :)

Re:Use "gratis" not "free" (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896612)

The problem is that English (at least as it's commonly spoken) doesn't have different words so as to distinguish between "libre" and "gratis". So while "gratis" does have English origins (IIRC), no one uses it.

Put more simply, it would be like expecting the French to have an equivalent for "entrepreneur".

Re:Use "gratis" not "free" (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896678)

Not funny, he has a point. There is Libre and Gratis. Libre is generally what people think in terms of GPL (sorta) or BSD licensed software (more BSD/MIT) that you are free to modify and do what you want with the source code. Gratis would be free in terms of no money needed. It's free as in Frankly GPL probably falls under the Gratis category the more I think about it because there are restrictions.

Or in simple terms: Libre = Free as in speech/do what you want, Gratis = free as in beer.

Re:Use "gratis" not "free" (2, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896768)

Can we please stop using "free" when we mean "gratis". You know, when something doesn't cost anything. "free" is too ambiguous.

How about we stop using "free" to mean "restricted by a particular set of rules that I happen to agree with", since that's a vastly less honest equation ?

What 'open source' means to Martin Schneider (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896478)

"Open source doesn't mean free and was never really meant to mean free," Martin Schneider, senior director of communications at SugarCRM, said. "Open source runs through everything we do, it enables us to be transparent and gives customers more power. We are an open source company and it's why we're better than proprietary companies."

Translation: What "open source" apparently means to the Martin Schneiders of the world is freely given code and other contributions to THEIR product from others for which they don't have to pay a dime, i.e. leeching off the "community". Their version of open source is apparently a one-way street with all the signs taken down. It might be giving them more power than it does their customers.

This has bothered me for a while... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32896494)

Strong advocates of "open source" always talk about how having access to the source is a kind of freedom, and that's true. Personally, I would prefer if all software that I purchased came with the source code (and the means to rebuild it) - because this gives me the freedom to fix bugs or make enhancements myself (and also to pay someone else to do it, i.e. to avoid vendor lock-in). It's an important freedom to have, **but** it's a big jump to then say that not only should I have the freedom to see and modify the source, but I should be able to share the whole source - even the parts I didn't write myself - with anyone I want to, without permission from or kickbacks to the original author(s). That is certainly nice, but it's not a "freedom" so much as it is a privilege.

Is the source "open" just because I have access to it along with the software...? I say it is. If I can also give it away to others then it's also "free", but that would be in the as-in-beer sense, not the as-in-speech sense.

The main reason I often prefer "open source" software is because I, personally, get access to the source code - not because it's free in cost, but not either because everyone else "in the wild" can get it too.

copyright (1)

stiller (451878) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896498)

It's not about the code, which looks to be covered under GPLv3. The artwork is probably just covered by copyright. Only paying customers get to use this. This is actually not that uncommon. With some other products you are required to buy a license if you want to change the branding/artwork. Doom/quake are open source, but you still need to pay for the content. Does the new GUI provide functionality the old one does not have?

OSI has ownership of "open-source" definition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32896502)

Source: http://www.opensource.org/osd.html (2010-07-14)

The Open Source Definition (Annotated)

Version 1.9

The indented, italicized sections below appear as annotations to the Open Source Definition (OSD) and are not a part of the OSD. A plain version of the OSD without annotations can be found here.
Introduction

Open source doesn't just mean access to the source code. The distribution terms of open-source software must comply with the following criteria:
1. Free Redistribution

The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. The license shall not require a royalty or other fee for such sale.

Rationale: By constraining the license to require free redistribution, we eliminate the temptation to throw away many long-term gains in order to make a few short-term sales dollars. If we didn't do this, there would be lots of pressure for cooperators to defect.
2. Source Code

The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in source code as well as compiled form. Where some form of a product is not distributed with source code, there must be a well-publicized means of obtaining the source code for no more than a reasonable reproduction cost preferably, downloading via the Internet without charge. The source code must be the preferred form in which a programmer would modify the program. Deliberately obfuscated source code is not allowed. Intermediate forms such as the output of a preprocessor or translator are not allowed.

Rationale: We require access to un-obfuscated source code because you can't evolve programs without modifying them. Since our purpose is to make evolution easy, we require that modification be made easy.
3. Derived Works

The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software.

Rationale: The mere ability to read source isn't enough to support independent peer review and rapid evolutionary selection. For rapid evolution to happen, people need to be able to experiment with and redistribute modifications.
4. Integrity of The Author's Source Code

The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified form only if the license allows the distribution of "patch files" with the source code for the purpose of modifying the program at build time. The license must explicitly permit distribution of software built from modified source code. The license may require derived works to carry a different name or version number from the original software.

Rationale: Encouraging lots of improvement is a good thing, but users have a right to know who is responsible for the software they are using. Authors and maintainers have reciprocal right to know what they're being asked to support and protect their reputations.

Accordingly, an open-source license must guarantee that source be readily available, but may require that it be distributed as pristine base sources plus patches. In this way, "unofficial" changes can be made available but readily distinguished from the base source.
5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups

The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.

Rationale: In order to get the maximum benefit from the process, the maximum diversity of persons and groups should be equally eligible to contribute to open sources. Therefore we forbid any open-source license from locking anybody out of the process.

Some countries, including the United States, have export restrictions for certain types of software. An OSD-conformant license may warn licensees of applicable restrictions and remind them that they are obliged to obey the law; however, it may not incorporate such restrictions itself.
6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor

The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.

Rationale: The major intention of this clause is to prohibit license traps that prevent open source from being used commercially. We want commercial users to join our community, not feel excluded from it.
7. Distribution of License

The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the program is redistributed without the need for execution of an additional license by those parties.

Rationale: This clause is intended to forbid closing up software by indirect means such as requiring a non-disclosure agreement.
8. License Must Not Be Specific to a Product

The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program's being part of a particular software distribution. If the program is extracted from that distribution and used or distributed within the terms of the program's license, all parties to whom the program is redistributed should have the same rights as those that are granted in conjunction with the original software distribution.

Rationale: This clause forecloses yet another class of license traps.
9. License Must Not Restrict Other Software

The license must not place restrictions on other software that is distributed along with the licensed software. For example, the license must not insist that all other programs distributed on the same medium must be open-source software.

Rationale: Distributors of open-source software have the right to make their own choices about their own software.

Yes, the GPL is conformant with this requirement. Software linked with GPLed libraries only inherits the GPL if it forms a single work, not any software with which they are merely distributed.
10. License Must Be Technology-Neutral

No provision of the license may be predicated on any individual technology or style of interface.

Rationale: This provision is aimed specifically at licenses which require an explicit gesture of assent in order to establish a contract between licensor and licensee. Provisions mandating so-called "click-wrap" may conflict with important methods of software distribution such as FTP download, CD-ROM anthologies, and web mirroring; such provisions may also hinder code re-use. Conformant licenses must allow for the possibility that (a) redistribution of the software will take place over non-Web channels that do not support click-wrapping of the download, and that (b) the covered code (or re-used portions of covered code) may run in a non-GUI environment that cannot support popup dialogues.

Want open source? (4, Informative)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896516)

Check out vtiger [vtiger.com]

SugarCRM has been guilty of decepting customers with their "open source" claims in the past. They originally released under a modified Mozilla public license (the Sugar Public License), with requirements that derivatives remove any and all SugarCRM branding. A few enterprising folks forked it to form vtiger, which supposedly led to SugarCRM threatening to file suit for actually exercising their rights outlined under the license, and the CEO publicly lambasting the vtiger folks for actually taking SugarCRM up on their offer extended by the original SPL.

http://forums.vtiger.com/viewtopic.php?t=11 [vtiger.com]
http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/rich-tehrani/crm/sugarcrm-vs-vtiger.html [tmcnet.com]
http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=188554&cid=15541264 [slashdot.org]
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/is-sugarcrm-open-source/867 [zdnet.com]

I've posted previously about sugar vs. vtiger before:
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=223770&cid=18118754 [slashdot.org] (which drew out anti-F/OSS zealots and folks who didn't bother to read the licenses fully and obviously did not compare it to the previous SPL as it was originally written and released)

Now, the SugarCRM folks may have updated their licensing to remove the restrictions about moving to the free/community edition after having used the "enterprise" edition but honestly those folks were so scummy when they threw a fit after folks actually exercised their rights to create a derivative project that I can't be bothered to check.

Does vtiger functionality stack up well against SugarCRM's enterprise version? Not exactly. However, reverse is also true; vtiger offers some bells and whistles you don't get with Sugar - but in any event, vtiger does not use a license to try to restrict using your own data in another product.

Don't get me wrong: SugarCRM is a pretty good product, but I don't like to use products made by companies which engage in deceptive practices, even when some of the product editions may be "free."

Re:Want open source? (5, Insightful)

bigsteve@dstc (140392) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896620)

Here's an excerpt from the current Evaluation License, copied from the SugarCRM website.

Licensee shall not bifurcate the source code for any SugarCRM open source licensed products into a separately maintained source code repository so that development done on the original code requires manual work to be transferred to the forked software or so that the forked software starts to have features not present in the original software.

That smells of "not open source" to me.

Re:Want open source? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32896888)

No- this doesn't smell fishy. It is fishy. It is not libre. They are restricting your rights to modify the code. Somebody should have a shitfit about it.

Re:Want open source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32896752)

Does vtiger functionality stack up well against SugarCRM's enterprise version? Not exactly. However, reverse is also true; vtiger offers some bells and whistles you don't get with Sugar

Well, Sugar offers a codebase that is not completly messed up. While I like the idea behind vtiger I do not like the implementation.
Large amounts of spaghetti code, blind copy&paste all over the place, functions with thousands of lines and nested if statements of around 10 levels - no thanks!

Do something else then. (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896578)

Honestly, it's their business model. Paying customers have a foot to stand on if they want to complain, but if you aren't paying for something, that's your fault.

Does anyone seem to remember the power of open source is that you have access to the code? In the long term, being able to adapt a business solution because you can alter the code is a huge cash saver.

Re:Do something else then. (2, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896836)

Honestly, it's their business model.

That is not an issue. But them claiming that they're OSS when they really do not conform to the conventional definition is deceiving their customers.

kdawson WTF?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32896672)

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html [gnu.org]

Please don't post when you're drunk. Micro$oft and other FUD spinmeisters are doing enough harm already.

Wikipedia page history (1)

Zantetsuken (935350) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896694)

Just checked out the Wikipedia page for SugarCRM to find out what it is - the whole page is written like a marketing pamphlet where the drone that went and put the page together sat down with a thesaurus and changed literally every other word just to make the Wikipedia article sound fancier.

fork (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32896736)

SucroseCRM

sex 3ith ;a HOMO (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32896764)

to this. For host what the 4ouse fucking numbers, my calling. Now I

My understanding is .... (2, Informative)

ksandom (718283) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896796)

that open source is simply that users have access to the source code. The license then defines what you are allowed/obligated to do with it. Making it freely available/redistributable to everyone works very well with open source since it's very hard to control who can use it and who can't. But as far as I'm aware, open source does not actually define what people can do with it. It's just saying that the source code is available to its users.

Re:My understanding is .... (1)

MadTinfoilHatter (940931) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896922)

While that's what the purely semantic meaning of the phrase would imply, it's not what the OSI means by "Open Source". Their definition http://www.opensource.org/docs/osd [opensource.org] is far more narrow. So is the FSF's definition of "Free Software" http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html [gnu.org] and these are the definitions most people use...

SugarCRM definition of `Open Source' (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32896900)

The SugarCRM definition of `Open Source' is different than the OSI [opensource.org] definition
-------

The Open Source Definition (Annotated)

Version 1.9

The indented, italicized sections below appear as annotations to the Open Source Definition (OSD) and are not a part of the OSD. A plain version of the OSD without annotations can be found here.

Introduction

Open source doesn't just mean access to the source code. The distribution terms of open-source software must comply with the following criteria:

1. Free Redistribution

The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. The license shall not require a royalty or other fee for such sale.

is it that hard to get? (1)

batistuta (1794636) | more than 4 years ago | (#32896904)

After reading so many responses I think people just don't get it. Open source just means that "someone" gets the source code. That's why why it is often needed to specify for whom this is open source. For instance, it is not uncommon for our company to buy products which are "open source to customers". So we but a product, get the source code, and sign an NDA that we cannot redistribute it. Sometimes we can modify it under the waiver for liability and such. Open source does not mean free, it does not mean that you have to redistribute changes, it just means that "someone" gets the source code. Everything else is refinement of the open source concept and includes GPL, BSD, CCL, and any of the many open source license derivatives.

so please stop claiming that open source and GPL is the same or any along those lines.

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