Open Source == more freedom

We have recently been able to make a significant step towards enabling partnership with other developers and businesses. This is the implementation of a dual license model for our code base, this means we have a completely Open Source version of the code and a very open and easy to understand commercial license. This will allow us many benefits :

  1. Visibility and transparency of what we have and how the system is progressing
  2. Improve on the number of supporters who actively help with the project, via code, documentation or general helpful comment
  3. Inherently more secure system (security through obscurity is always doomed!)
  4. Better tested code and build system
  5. Ability to use patents to protect us and also to protect Open Source partners, whilst preventing nobody from innovating anything, any time for any reason (This is a huge personal issue for me)
  6. Allow our backers, shareholders and investors to become more involved with us as deeply as they wish

These are very powerful reasons to embrace the community and engage with potential partners in a manner that requires zero negotiations (a zero touch engagement policy) . In addition, in terms of the usual questions we face such as:

  • Does it work ?
  • Is this a front for some government security agency ?
  • How fast is it ?
  • Is it really secure ?
  • How can ‘you’ prove there is no ‘back door’ to get ‘my data’?

We can now answer, “check for yourself”, there is no need for us to engage with anyone and ask them to trust the answers to these questions. It’s all visible and verifiable. People can download, build and run their own copy of any of our applications and libraries as they see fit. Many will write about these points and independently word will indeed spread. This is important to us.

This represents the time for Maidsafe to reveal to the world what it is doing and more importantly show exactly where we are and how much effort and commitment has gone into this project. Perhaps a more important metric for anyone will be, “how much will this change my life” ? The answer to that question, hopefully will be, “significantly” and as we begin to reveal the fruits of all of the effort so far in the next few weeks, right through full launch of a worldwide network, we hope that that answer becomes very apparent and more surprising that anyone had anticipated!

Oh and a short note about the negatives of Open Source ! , well I suppose it negates the need for ‘blind faith’ sales strategies , on the other hand retaining code secrecy is regarded by some as a positive thing, but for us the internet is changing this manner of working. It is my contention that those who have previously been less than transparent are now being exposed and many have no answer that can support their actions. It is a better situation to be in possession of something of extreme value and let folk see it, otherwise secrecy, spin and an increasing departure from the truth is required, in my opinion anyway.

I hope that everyone will now be able to feel part of the project and help us achieve our aim of privacy, security and freedom for all of the people of the world and to do so in a fair and profitable manner.