Protecting our workby bradcathey (Prior)
|on Aug 27, 2005 at 12:59 UTC||Need Help??|
I have spent the last two years of evenings and weekends developing a small, but flexible, even powerful in places, little CMS (all Perl, HTML::Template, and MySQL). When we develop a site for a customer, we give them the option of purchasing a "license" to use the CMS in conjunction with their site (sliding scale based on number of users and pages).
Point here is: I've got hundreds of hours into this that I would like to protect. The fact that it sits on a customers host makes it available for the taking.
I've had two trains of thought: 1) this is commercial software so protect it, 2) consider this "open source" and not worry about it—we've all spent hundreds of hours writing programs. Anyway, let me unpack each.
I could think of this like other commercial software. But that is usually purchased and resides on my own hard drive. Those are usually easier to protect, e.g., using the machine's ID.
The web installation is a little trickier. For instance, our CMS uses a third-party wysiwyg editor that we purchase for each installation of our CMS. Of course, once we have it, we could just use it unlimitedly, but we're honest folk and just keep buying copies.
For our own CMS I've thought we could:
Open Source tack:
To be honest, I'm not completely sure what qualifies as open source. With the number of excellent open source CMS's out there, why is another one necessary? Especially ours—one that is written specifically for graphic designers who want to limit the customer's use of colors/fonts/grids in order to keep the brand identity under control, and does require more extensive setup.
Bottomline: I want to protect and profit from my investment, but I want to be fair to the programming "community." I'm sure there are monks that work for companies, or have their own, that need the financial security of selling their software. However, though I had to buy my most excellent code editor, I still profit indirectly from the availability of Linux, MySQL, CPAN modules, and, of course, Perl itself.
What do others think/do? Any other software moguls out there? Or is everyone part of some programming commune? Thanks all!
"The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men." George Eliot