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Author Topic: Open Source Software and Licensing for Profit.  (Read 462 times)
Ryan Rudolph
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January 18, 2012, 02:31:47 PM
 #1

Hey Guys,

Since Bitcoin is open source, what are the legal issues with licensing, starting a company for profit, as a means to push it into mainstream? Does anyone know the groups of individuals who are closest to doing this? Are they many groups trying at the moment?

Thanks.
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Gabi
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January 18, 2012, 02:33:34 PM
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Licensing? Profit? If you start a company that use bitcoins, no need for any "license"

If you are thinking about putting your name on the bitcoin client and SELLING it, then it's probably illegal...
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January 18, 2012, 02:51:43 PM
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hey, don't get me wrong, I do love the spirit of open source software, but the fundamental problem I see if that it makes entry into the corporate structure difficult.  An idea such as Bitcoin should have hit the mainstream by now with incredible force. My question is what is the hold up?  It may have to do with the fact that the anarchy spirit is ahead of its time, and one may have to use the capitalist model to essentially undermine the capitalist model? You follow, it maybe the only way to secure widespread and global distribution and appeal. That is my logic anyway. 
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January 18, 2012, 04:16:36 PM
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IMHO, bitcoin will follow linux in this regard.  Think, e.g., Redhat.  Their main source of revenue/profit is support through the sale of a reliable/predictable distro that they harden for business.  They, in turn, give back most of their work to the community (as they must per GPL).

Someone like that will develop and package a hardened turnkey solution and related support infrastructure for merchants that makes it dead easy to accept bitcoin without having to worry about its volatility.

I'm sure folks have to be working on this, if they've not already released something, but am too lazy to google before that first cup of coffee.  Smiley
Gabi
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January 18, 2012, 05:59:39 PM
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I think his question is if a company have to get a license or what to be able to use bitcoin and whatelse and wondering what is stopping bitcoin to well take over the world...

As far as i know no, you don't need anything, you just set up the shop with a way to receive bitcoin and that's all, your choice how and what to do.

Why bitcoin hasn't take over the world so far? Well, i think it's a mix of the fact that it's still a small thing (chicken-egg problem), the missing things of the client and dunno, something else

tlhonmey
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January 19, 2012, 10:57:41 PM
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So far as I know, nothing in the bitcoin software licensing prohibits you from selling copies or services.  You are merely prohibited from prohibiting those to whom you sell said copies from distributing copies to others, and required to provide source code.

Or, since the entire protocol is public, you could write your own software to interface with the bitcoin blockchain from scratch and license it however you want.  But, before you start, if it's a closed-source application the majority of the community will refuse to use it on principle.

The entry to the corporate world would be to start accepting bitcoins as a payment method and possibly using them for payments to others.  The barrier to that is the price instability.  Instability should decrease as user base increases, so expect adoption to snowball over time rather than increase instantly overnight.

Non plaudite, iam pecuniam iacite.
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