What is Apatar's software licensing model?
Apatar uses a "dual licensing" business model. Under this model, users may choose to use Apatar products under the free software/open source GNU General Public License (commonly known as the "GPL") or under a commercial license.
With the GPL license, Apatar is available free of charge, as long as Apatar is used according to the terms of the GPL license. Users may download the software for free and modify, integrate, and distribute it. However, GPL users must abide by the rules of the GPL, which stipulate that if an Apatar-based application is redistributed, the complete source code for this application must also be open and available for redistribution.
For those organizations who do not want to release the source code for their application, Apatar offers a commercial license. Once they have obtained a commercial license, customers receive a commercially supported product with certain commitments from Apatar, in addition to not having the requirement that their Apatar-based software must be "open sourced." Apatar is able to provide a commercial license because it has full ownership of the Apatar code.
Apatar's dual-licensing increases freedom in two ways: first, it encourages the growth of free software by licensing Apatar under the GPL; second, it makes it possible to use our software in situations where the GPL is not applicable.
Why does Apatar offer two licenses?
Apatar's dual-license model supports the company's mission: to make data integration affordable to all, including those users who traditionally could not afford expensive proprietary data integration tools.
The dual-licensing creates an opportunity for Apatar to give back to the community.
The dual-licensing business model is a "win-win" for all parties:
Apatar's open source community gets superior software for no cost;
Apatar's commercial customers have the option of using reliable, community "battle-tested" Apatar software for a relatively low cost
For more complete guidelines on the GPL and commercial license from Apatar, please contact an Apatar representative.
Do I get the same Apatar software under either license?
Yes. The Apatar product is essentially identical under either the GPL license or the commercial license. In some cases there are minor differences in the support libraries due to incompatibilities between the licenses of the libraries and Apatar.
With a commercial license option, is Apatar still an "open source" company?
Yes, Apatar is still an open source company and is completely committed to the open source values and philosophy. We believe the open source model of development and distribution is the most efficient way to produce high-quality software. All Apatar software is offered under both open source and commercial license terms.
Are other companies using the dual-licensing business model?
Yes, the dual-licensing business model is becoming increasingly popular among open source companies as it paves the way for long-term financial viability. Other companies that offer dual-licensing include Alfresco, MySQL AB, SugarCRM, Trolltech, Zimbra, and others.
Where can I read more about GPL?
You can read more answers to Frequently Asked Questions at the GNU GPL at the Free Software Foundation's web site - http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-faq.html