A Successful Business Model for Free Software

TitleA Successful Business Model for Free Software
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsAyre, J, Gasperoni, F
Secondary TitleOSS2005: Open Source Systems

The objective of this article is to offer a return on experience explaining how the legal fundamentals on which Free Software is based allow for a long-lasting business model based on a special kind of expert knowledge-based support that benefits customers and guarantees the creation of a local pool of expertise. This article is based on our experience with GNAT Pro. GNAT Pro is the Free Software development environment for the Ada 95 programming language. It comprises a compiler that is part of GCC (the GNU Compiler Collection), a toolset and graphical Integrated Development Environment, and a set of supporting libraries. Developing, maintaining, and marketing GNAT Pro for ten years have provided significant experience with both technical and non-technical aspects of Free Software. This article summarizes the principal legal and business lessons learned.

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