I’m not for or against open source or proprietary software. I’m a pragmatist looking for the best all-round solution for my clients. Because of this mindset, I have been drawn to the open source model. I also prefer long-term solutions that address systemic needs, not quick fixes. Via Steve, I came across this post on the business model for open source distribution. This one really makes sense, and whether you are developing software, buying software or using software, you should read the entire article.
Copyright and patent are weighty protections, but they put the vendor in an adversarial relationship with the customer. Such traditional intellectual property tools hurt users as much (or more) than competitors. Open source allows me to lay waste to my competitors’ profit margins while simultaneously blessing my customers with increased IT flexibility and a more finely tailored approach to solving their business problems.
This is the kind of distribution model that I believe can make major inroads into the e-learning marketspace.