The SilverStripe software is licensed under the open source (revised) BSD license, one of the most flexible and liberal licenses available. While there are hundreds of other content management systems available under the more restrictive GPL license, SilverStripe is (to our knowledge) the only advanced CMS available under the BSD license. Third-party open source libraries we include in our download are released under their own licenses.
We've chosen the BSD license because it's the best possible license for our customers. For example, some of our larger customers are developing unique and novel solutions on top of SilverStripe and are integrating SilverStripe deep into their product offerings. Under a more restrictive license (such as the GPL), they'd be obligated to publish all their custom code if they want to distribute their product. But this would mean giving away their competitive advantage, which they may not want to do.
It's easy to understand why the BSD license is a great choice for our customers, but how is the BSD license good for our business? After all, we are basically giving away a huge chunk of our Intellectual Property (IP). A software company's IP is usually held onto very tightly because traditionally, software companies believe that their IP is something to be protected and sold. We believe something different.
Simply put, it comes down to this: We're not in the business of developing software; we're in the business of helping our customers. The way we do this is by figuring out what our customers need and delivering well. What we deliver is usually a combination of business analysis, technology development, and tight working relationships with the customers.
We believe a more sustainable business model is one where we are challenged to constantly learn, innovate, and communicate with others.
We believe that having loads of happy customers is better for our business than relying on a restrictive licensing model.
We believe in the power of an open developer community. The best way to encourage and create better software is to have people contribute back to the main code base and share their work with others. The open source model has proven this with such examples as the Linux operating system, the PostgreSQL database, and the Apache web server.
We believe the rules of the game are changing. Software is not a precious commodity that needs to be carefully (and expensively) doled out.
We believe in giving back to the community that has helped us get to where we are today. Our software is free. Come join the party.
- The SilverStripe Team
Copyright (c) 2006-10, SilverStripe Limited - www.silverstripe.com
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