Can you rebrand and sell open source software?

by Adeel_Chowdhry 7 replies
- Can you sell open source software?

Sure, I've seen it done over and over...(people selling Open Office on eBay for instance)..

But I was wondering if you can perhaps re-brand the software under your own name?

Thanks,
Adeel
#main internet marketing discussion forum #open #rebrand #sell #software #source
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  • Profile picture of the author e-mail2u
    It all depends on the license Open office has a gpl license. I believe you can re-brand it however the gpl has to remain with the re branded version.

    learn more here.
    The GNU General Public License - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF)
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    • Profile picture of the author zerofill
      It depends...sometimes everything isn't gpl'd....BUT...remember if you make any source changes you have to release them to the community normally for that project.

      You need to read some of their specific information on their project. Re-branding it is basically taking credit for their work. Which can really piss them off and rightfully so.

      A lot of open source projects have forums etc....You need to speak with the authors of the software itself. They are normally pretty easy to reach.

      Because if you piss the wrong community off they will hunt you down on the internet lol...make your life a living hell.

      I have spent a lot of time in IRC channels for various open source projects....and let me tell you I have seen them rip many sites apart with bot nets etc for companies that want to take credit for their work.

      Open Office CDs being sold isn't rebranding it... They aren't taking credit for owning creating or publishing Open Office. They are just saving people with a slowass connection the annoyance of downloading it often times.

      Often you will find projects covered under the gpl that will say do whatever you want with it...in those cases it is up to you.

      I have made forks to open source projects before...but I have always given credit back to the original authors and noted my changes or additions in a changelog.txt or README file...
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      • Profile picture of the author Jose Delgado
        I think I know where you are going.

        Let it GO Adeel.
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      • Profile picture of the author Adeel_Chowdhry
        Appreciated guys.

        These GPL rules can take ages to go through, and are complicated!

        I think in the long run, it's perhaps much safer develop your own software applications from scratch.

        Thanks again,
        Adeel
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        • Yes, you can re-brand Open Source software if it is under the GNU public licenses, which by definition it is. And you can sell it.

          HOWEVER, you MUST provide access to the source code to anyone you distribute it to, whether you rebrand it or not.

          There are many nuanced conditions, but that is the gist.

          Many marketers, including names most people on this forum recognize, have built extremely successful businesses by rebranding Open Source software.

          Adeel, the GNU licenses are not that complicated. Most anyone with any Internet background can read and understand the entire license agreement in an hour or two.

          Mark
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