Dual licensing in open source software markets
Dual licensing has proved to be a sustainable business model for various commercial software vendors employing open source strategies. In this paper we study the main characteristics of dual licensing and under which conditions it represents a profitable commercial strategy. We show that dual licensing is a form of versioning, whereby the software vendor uses the open source licensing terms in order to induce commercial customers to select the proprietary version of the software. Furthermore, we show that the software vendor prefers dual licensing to a fully proprietary strategy when the customers are very sensitive to the reciprocal terms of the open source license.
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