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GNU is Not Unix Software

Under User Pressure, SugarCRM Adopts GPLv3 162

StonyandCher writes "SugarCRM is to adopt version 3 of the GNU general public license for the next release of its open-source CRM software after coming under pressure from its user community to move away from its own Sugar Public License. 'We just think it's a great license,' said John Roberts, SugarCRM CEO and co-founder. 'It's more copyleft, more liberal and less restrictive than our current license.' He added that when the beta version of Sugar Community Edition 5.0 ships within two weeks, it will be licensed under GPLv3."
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Under User Pressure, SugarCRM Adopts GPLv3

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  • one word... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26, 2007 @08:31AM (#19995619)
    ...SugarCRM Adopts GPLv3...

    SWEET!
  • More copyleft and less restrictive... uh... ok...
    • by sepluv ( 641107 ) <blakesley@@@gmail...com> on Thursday July 26, 2007 @08:44AM (#19995791)

      Ye, since when was "copyleft" a comparative adjective, anyway? I think "We just think it's a great license...more copyleft...less restrictive" was CEO speak for "I haven't read it and I don't understand what a copyright license is (it's something technical). But my people in the know say we've changed ours because there's a new one out with go faster stripes, and my PR people tell me that if I make an announcement about it, it will get the company on /. and help me get a bigger bonus".

      BTW, I do support this license move, just commenting on CEOs.

      • Ye, since when was "copyleft" a comparative adjective, anyway? I think "We just think it's a great license...more copyleft...less restrictive" was CEO speak for "I haven't read it and I don't understand what a copyright license is (it's something technical). But my people in the know say we've changed ours because there's a new one out with go faster stripes, and my PR people tell me that if I make an announcement about it, it will get the company on /. and help me get a bigger bonus".

        BTW, I do support this license move, just commenting on CEOs.

        I am so glad I can copy your post for use in this quote without fear of being sued. I'm glad some people take the time and screen real-estate to explicitly place their post in the public domain.

      • by 808140 ( 808140 ) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @06:55PM (#20004431)
        I love this petty CEO-bashing that we have here on Slashdot. I don't know much about SugarCRM, and I'll admit that there are idiots who run companies (as there are idiots in any profession) but this elitist attitude is one of the things that annoys me most about nerds. Have you ever run your own company? Made it profitable? Done the accounting? Managed a bunch of people with skills that don't overlap much with your own?

        I hate to break it to you guys who are living a daydream here, but that stuff is hard to do and it's even harder to do well. There's definitely some pork-barrel price-fixing of CEO salaries at some of the larger, more established companies out there, but under no circumstance should you ever get the idea that CEOs are stupid or that delegating responsibility to others more knowledgeable than you in any field is somehow stupid or worth looking down upon.

        Programming a computer is not that difficult. You can pretend it is in front of your layman friends, but this is Slashdot -- we all program computers, or at least 90% of us do, so don't think we're going to take your word for it when you wax lyrical about how you need to be a genius to get it done.

        Why is it that expertise -- and let's face it, often as not not even real expertise in the case of the average Slashdot reader -- in one field gives people the attitude that they can mouth off about other people? In the US, one of the most entrepreneur-friendly countries in the entire world, only 38% of business are still around after 6 years (Dun & Bradstreet). This is not because people who start businesses are stupid, it's because running a business is hard. Really hard.

        If you ran a company, and you tried to be programmer, lawyer, accountant, financial planner, sales rep, and janitor all at once, you know what would happen? Your company would die. Because, despite what you've been told, law is hard. Accounting is hard. Capital budgeting is hard. Sales -- sales is bust ass. And yes, even cleaning the floors carries a tremendous opportunity cost if your other duties include making the company profitable.

        Being able to delegate responsibility -- being able to let someone who really knows what they are doing deal with something you yourself don't understand very well -- is one of the hallmarks of a good manager. And if you think that good managers are common, you obviously haven't worked in a corporate setting for very long. Ever had a PHB who knew nothing about what you were the resident expert at and tried to do your job for you? Tried to micromanage you? Did you ever bitch about that?

        Because here you are disparaging a CEO because he doesn't (according to you) know the intricacies of copyright law. Well, odds are you haven't the foggiest idea about copyright law either, since you probably aren't a lawyer, and if you think you do because you read Slashdot, then you are sadly mistaken.

        Why don't you go try running a business. Working 90 hour weeks for equity at a start up and not just doing the programming but managing the finances and dealing with the VCs and doing the whole shebang before you come here and mouth off about how CEOs are all morons.

        There's a reason these guys get paid so much, even at the mid-cap level, and I hate to disappoint you, it's not because of the good old boys network. It's because they know how to generate wealth, and very few people have that skill. They know how to talk to investors, they know how to delegate responsibility, they know how to run the company. They know how to choose an i-bank when it comes time to IPO. They know how to make it work. And you don't. And I know it may hurt your fragile little Slashdotter whiny-nerd ego to admit it, but there are things other than programming that take real skill. Why, there may even be things harder than programming! Imagine that!

        (As an aside, I was in Silicon Valley during the bubble, and I saw first hand what happens when programmers start thinking they can run companies -- 99% of them bite the dust, even with millions of dollars in first phase investment. Why, some of their ideas were even good. Too bad that that's not all it takes to succeed.)
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by sepluv ( 641107 )

          I love the rant. But, from skim reading it, I understand your main argument is that it isn't the CEO's job to know all about their copyright license (which is probably true*) and my main point was I don't think he's read it before issuing a press release explaining why they've decided to use it (which you thought was "disparaging" and my saying he was a "moron" which I didn't). So, really, we aren't in disagreement. Actually the real main point of my post was H-U-M-O-U-R; it wasn't supposed to be taken ser

          • but I would dispute why generating wealth is so much more useful than any other job like programming (if by wealth, you mean the net worth of a company). In particular, assuming you are using the economic meaning, they aren't generating it as such, but taking it from somewhere else (e.g.: private individuals or other companies), in general.

            You need to study some economics. Economic activity is not a zero-sum game. Wealth can be created, and it happens every day. You do not have to "take from others" to ge

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Hatta ( 162192 )
      Not at all. Copyleft prevents you from taking away the rights of others, it also prevents others from taking away your rights. In this way it is less restrictive. The only restriction is on the restrictions. Would you say the 13th amendment made us more or less free? The GPL is exactly analogous.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Curien ( 267780 )
        Would you say the 13th amendment made us more or less free? The GPL is exactly analogous.

        No, it isn't. The 13th Amendement (which abolished slavery in the US, for those of you following along) had the net effect of making "us" more free because it dealt with the interaction between *people*. The GPL deals with the interaction between a person and *software*. Contrary to the neoligsm, a piece of software (AIs notwithstanding) cannot have freedom; only people can.

        So while I mostly agree with your sentiment (t
        • by Hatta ( 162192 )
          Software itself cannot have freedom, but people can have rights with respect to software. Whether you're holding slaves, or holding copyright, you are taking away the rights of people.
          • by Pfhorrest ( 545131 ) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @03:41PM (#20002195) Homepage Journal

            Whether you're holding slaves, or holding copyright, you are taking away the rights of people.
            The GPL does not counteract copyright law. Releasing something into the public domain counteracts copyright law. The GPL relies on copyright law, albiet to different ends than usual.

            Copyright law is a restriction on people's ability to distribute information as they see fit. The GPL, as a copyright license, is also a restriction on people's ability to distribute information as they see fit. The only difference is, usual copyright licenses say "you may not redistribute this information unless you pay us for another copy", while the GPL says "you may not redistribute this information unless you also distribute that other information" (the source, and any additions to it). Both of them are placing obligations on people in regard to the conditions under which they are tentatively permitted to redistribute information.

            A truly free license would say simply "you may redistribute this information". That's called putting a work in the public domain: you release any claims on it.

            To try (poorly) to cram this into your slavery analogy, the GPL would be like saying "that person still belongs to me, however you can do use him to plow your fields, so long as you plow an equal area yourself". True freedom, analogous to the public domain, would say "that person is free; your interactions with him are none of my business". Of course this whole analogy is busted from the start because a freed slave has rights that freed information does not.

            Someone who takes open-sourced code and uses it in a closed-source project it not "locking it up". No one is suddenly prevented from using the open-sourced code. It's still out there, the same as before. Maybe someone has refrained from releasing new code they wrote to incorporate with the open-sourced code, but then, what right do you have to see their code? You might want to say "I won't show you my code unless you agree to show me yours", and that's fine, just like saying "I'll teach you tai-chi if you teach me yoga". It's just a contract to perform a service for someone, namely giving them some information, in exchange for another service. However, you cannot (ethically) say "here is my code; you may not make use of this information I have given you unless you also show me your code", any more than you can say "here is how you do tai-chi; you may not practice tai-chi or any variant of if (i.e. tai-chi + yoga) unless you also also offer to teach anyone you perform it for how to do tai-chi or your variant". In short, if you don't want to share your code unless others are going to share back, contract with them ahead of time to exchange code. But if you're just going to give information away freely (i.e distribute it, not keep it secret), you've got no right to tell the recipients of it how they may or may not make use of it.
            • by Hatta ( 162192 )
              The GPL does not counteract copyright law. Releasing something into the public domain counteracts copyright law. The GPL relies on copyright law, albiet to different ends than usual.

              Well if you want to pick nits yes. The GPL does not repeal copyright in exactly the same way the 13th amendment repeals slavery. So what? The point stands that a restrictive clause can have the net effect of increasing liberty.

              A truly free license would say simply "you may redistribute this information". That's called putting
              • Well if you want to pick nits yes. The GPL does not repeal copyright in exactly the same way the 13th amendment repeals slavery.

                Really, the analogy you'd want to go for here is that GPLing a project is like freeing a slave. The GPL has no effect on what laws are in effect one way or another. Even then though, GPLing a project is *not* like freeing a slave, for exactly the reasons I listed before. It's not just a little bit different, it's entirely different. GPL is a license to use a copyrighted work the way that one might license other to use ones slaves (or, I suppose, license one's slaves to do certain things). It might be a les

      • The only restriction is on the restrictions. Would you say the 13th amendment made us more or less free? The GPL is exactly analogous.

        The GPL is more analogous to something like affirmative action laws. They don't prevent you from preventing others from doing things; they require you to enable others in specific ways. The GPL says you may not distribute the covered information without also distributing certain other information: affirmative action laws say you may not hire certain people (i.e. too many white people) unless you also hire certain other people (enough black people). Both are *restrictive* in the same of ostensibly more egal

  • by lilomar ( 1072448 ) <lilomar2525@gmail.com> on Thursday July 26, 2007 @08:34AM (#19995675) Homepage

    'It's more copyleft, more liberal and less restrictive than our current license.'
    But, call within the next ten minutes, and you can get two, that's right, TWO, GPLv3 licenses for the same low-low price! Don't miss out on this special TV offer!
    • it's the web apps clause that allows required links to "credits" pages including source code if the author chooses. That feature is MORE copyleft, but removes their need to create a custom license simply to get proper credit and ensure other companies are using their code correctly (as they provide non-free versions also)
  • by MarkWatson ( 189759 ) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @08:37AM (#19995713) Homepage
    The old SugarCRM license had an advertising requirement that required a large advertisement on every page. One of my old customers ended up not using SugarCRM because of this.

    Good also to see even wider GPL v3 adoption!
    • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
      You seem to have failed to pick the spin off the news.

      Spin: 'Under user pressure...' - submitter
      Spin: 'We think it's a great license...' - CEO
      News: 'SugarCRM is to adopt version 3 of the GNU general public license for the next release of its open-source CRM software'

      No doubt they DO like it as a license, because all the 'user pressure' in the world isn't enough to make someone give up their rights, if they've have a mind. They -chose- to do this.
    • by jkrise ( 535370 )
      The old SugarCRM license had an advertising requirement that required a large advertisement on every page. One of my old customers ended up not using SugarCRM because of this. Despite all the positive PR spin about Sugar CRM moving to GPL3 for the Open Source edition, it is not the restrictions on this version that is holding customers back. Their support for Outlook Express and Outlook is very flaky, despite their so-called alliance with Microsoft.

      Also, the Open source edition is quite limited compared t
      • Yeah, but there is always VTiger [vtiger.com]

        and their licencing is:

        vtiger's modifications to the SugarCRM code are under vtiger Public License 1.1 based on Mozilla Public License (MPL). Additional components written by vtiger, not coming under the purview of the SPL, are provided under MPL
  • by Fishead ( 658061 ) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @08:39AM (#19995739)
    Under User Pressure... We just think it's a great license

    which is it?
    • Dum dum dum da da dum dum... Under User Pressure ... Dum dum dum da da dum dum... Sugar CRM Baby! *oops, wrong song*

      Above excerpt(s) used under fair use rules as satire.

  • by AlXtreme ( 223728 ) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @08:50AM (#19995849) Homepage Journal
    SugarCRM has been high on my list of projects claiming to be "open source" when they really weren't (according to the OSI-definition atleast, feel free to flame me that OSI has nothing to do with this). Free Distribution is #1 in the open source definition [opensource.org], and projects like SugarCRM forbid this (for instance for commercial purposes).

    If even their own community started complaining, then it's about time to either go open or go proprietary. Projects that hang in-between just muddle the waters.
    • by sepluv ( 641107 )

      It was really bad legalese-ridden license. And, yes, with the restrictions on free distribution and the advertising clause (that was worse than the old BSD one), it clearly isn't free or open-source, even if the company claimed that themselves.

      BTW, I've come across one of the threads [sugarcrm.com] with "user pressure" on this issue, which I found interesting.

      Also, there is an official press release [sugarcrm.com] and an FAQ list [sugarforge.org] on the license change.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @09:06AM (#19996013) Homepage
    Sugar CRM Open source is great until you want to use it with Outlook integration. Then their outlook plugin costs you a arm and leg per PC and does not work with the Open source version.

    We completely switched to http://www.vtiger.com/ [vtiger.com] as it's 100% open source including the Outlook and office integration.

    Yeah, I would prefer that we dont use Look-out and orfice at work, but teaching sales people slightly different tasks is like having a spike driven through your skull.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      And for those who do not want PHP (I, personally, am not averse to PHP, so pls don't flame me) or otherwise too, can look at openCRX [opencrx.org]. It is a J2EE based app & can be built for high scalability. To change its code though you need to know UML! Its built on openMDX, an open source MDA tool. Only, I haven't been able to figure out which open source UML tool is right for working with the UML they provide.
    • by rtechie ( 244489 )
      Please mod the parent up.

      Vtiger *IS* SugarCRM, freed from the bullshit of Sugar. Virtually all of the open source contributers to SugarCRM have already jumped ship to vtiger. It's so bad that Sugar won't even allow vtiger to be mentioned in their forums for fear it will draw away more users.

      Also, contrary to this announcement, THEY ARE NOT SWITCHING TO GPLv3!!!!! They plan to release the "Open Source Community Edition" as GPLv3. The "Community Edition" is not a COMPLETE version of SugarCRM, it doesn't inclu
  • Hey, waitasec... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by toolz ( 2119 ) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @10:49AM (#19997581) Homepage Journal
    Aren't SugarCRM partnered with Microsoft [sugarcrm.com]?

    And hasn't MS said that it will have nothing to do with GPLv3?

    Wooooo... INCOMING!
    • How childish.

      Incoming what? Snide FSF fanboy jeers? Because there's nothing else that'll be incoming just because Sugar have agreements with Microsoft.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of code." -- an anonymous programmer

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