When is open source really Open Source?

  • Christian Stocker

There's a new Swiss CMS on the market (or at least I only lately heard about it), called Contrexx. They claim to be Open Source all over the website. But if you look closer, although you can download the source code for free, you're not allowed to build commercial (like company) websites with it. If you want to do that, you need a commercial license, which is not really cheap for such a system (IMHO). Here's the actual Open Source license in German only.

I don't care about their business model. I'm fine with charging for software. But if they say, their CMS is Open Source (mind the capital letters ) and it actually isn't in the traditional sense ( OSI definition), it's cheating. Just providing the source to your program and then make big restriction on using it, is not what the Open Source Community had in mind and not what the potential user expects, anyway.

It's certainly a good move they opened their source code and are allowing everyone to download it. I encourage more companies to do so. It just bothers me, that they call this “Open Source”.

BTW, the demo looks nice, but I basically just clicked through for a few minutes, so I can't give an in-depth opinion about it.


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