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Open Source business models in Spain

Are there business models based on free software in Spain? Have we evolved in the last 15 years? In the attractive light of this presentation at the OpenExpo 2016 - The Future is Open I came as a needy moth. A great success, interesting analysis of the situation and a great discovery: Malcolm Baine… sparkly!.


The essence of his message conveyed to me viability for businesses based on open source, but viability from the requirement. Open source software minimizes upfront payment ("fee") and transforms strong business relationship into payment for services, payment for results. Demanding because you are always exposed to satisfaction and competition, but viable because it protects the return on investment of all those involved to the maximum.

Open Source tag cloud

Open Source tag cloud

Malcom's extensive experience allows him to tune in to the main legal concerns related to open source software that it detects in 2016:

  • There is a battle with the legal terms of mobile application stores ("App stores"). In particular, relying on GPL components is introducing a high-risk factor if we want to upload our application to the Apple store (VLC case on the App Store).
  • You have noticed a resurgence of "permissive" licenses (MIT, BSD, Apache).
  • There are great debates GPL3 versus AGPL3 (license published to solve the problem of copyleft "in the cloud").
  • Currently we can say that there is already Open for almost everything:
    • Open APIs
    • Open Software
    • Open Data
    • Open SaaS
    • Open cloud

Come on, as Malcom wryly comments,
in the blogsphere there is talk of "open everything"
less than open source (which is already well out of date).


As for the business models with free software components, there are still several and they are in good shape:

  • Dual model - The same entity has two license models for the same product
  • Adjustable model (Open Core) - A basic service ("core") is offered open and the custom settings are marketed as proprietary.
  • Service model - As in the case of the Public Sector Contract Law, which considers that the supply of software (except operating systems) is a service (support services, maintenance, user help, training, etc.).
  • Hosted solutions model - Cloud-hosted open source components are provided, ready-to-use along with maintenance services.
  • Consulting services model - A whole classic. Having access to the code does not exempt you from needing to understand it to get the most out of it, therefore, in these scenarios it is still absolutely necessary to resort to proven experts.

From the year 2000 to date, Malcom has also detected a notable improvement in the business mentality (and of the Public Administrations) in the face of the Free software.

Thus, from the year 2000 to the year 2016, it indicates that we have gone from….

  • At the level of questions:
    • (2000) What is free software?
      • What license to use to do business with free software?
        • (2016) How to manage the legal issues of free software?


  • At the contract level:
    • (2000) The use of free software is prohibited.
      • The use of free software must be previously notified.
        • (2016) If you use free software, give me the source code and the licenses involved.

 Give me the licenses for the free software involved.
Review all license types
of all software components
it is hard work.
Hard? A lot of,
Systematic? Also!

The great news is that we have tools to alleviate this workload of our software construction processes thanks to the specification . Essential.

SPDX is a standard format for communicating the components, licenses, and rights associated with a software package. A) Yes, we can get a "legal X-ray" of our software products that, in addition, we can incorporate in them as a legal trace of each and every one of its components.

You can consult directly on the website of the SPDX group the breakdown of available tools, both those driven by SPDX workgroups and those maintained by the community or provided by companies.



In conclusion, I do not want to abandon those of you who are on the verge of atrial fibrillation to their fate just thinking about obtaining (and maintaining) the legal trace of each and every component of their software products. With your permission, allow me to recommend a dose of our eco-LOGIC software manufacturing seasoned with a pinch of SPDX Maven Plugin. OjO is addictive!

Open Expo 2016 Panel Sistemas

Open Expo 2016 Panel Sistemas

Did you know …? ECOLOGICAL software manufacturing is an integrated, automated and sustainable model of software creation in large projects, based on four pilaris: Integration, sustainability, compliance and people.
Miguel Ángel Nicolaus

Miguel Ángel Nicolaus

Miguel Ángel is CIO, Director of Innovation and co-founder of Panel Sistemas. Follow @ mnicolao11 on Twitter, or visit their profile at Analysis. You can also contact him via e-mail at this address.

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