As I mentioned previously, many people have asked me about releasing the source code for various MySpace feed services. Back when I first created the blog service, it was actually released under an open source license. That was a mistake. The code was written to work on my specific server, and most people downloading it and trying to install it on different servers didn’t understand it well enough to make the adjustments necessary to get it working. So what I got in exchange for releasing the source code was a series of requests for help installing and customizing, and not a single code contribution.
Why don’t I just rewrite the code to work better on other servers? To turn that back around, why would I? I created the original services to solve problems for myself. Specifically, I want to be able to keep up with my friends’ words and events without checking MySpace regularly. Then I made the services available for others to freely use. I’d already made them for myself, so that wasn’t much work. But packaging the code to run better on other servers is work, and that work doesn’t benefit me at all. If it doesn’t get me code contributions and it doesn’t make my life easier, why should I do it?
It turns out money is a pretty good reason. When people started offering me money for the code, suddenly that work became more interesting. This money for work exchange is a novel concept, but apparently others have tried it before. So I mostly copied what they’ve done and I’m now offering licenses for the code behind my various MySpace feed services. You can buy a license for either the blog feed creator, the comment feed creator, or the event feed creator for $100 each, or you can buy all three for $250.
The license is pretty straightforward, but there is one somewhat abnormal clause that requires you to keep your own copy of the code updated as I release new versions. I don’t want a lot of broken versions of the code out there with my name on it, and I don’t think keeping it working is too much to ask. You can license it and not keep it updated if you really want, but then I’m going to stop sending you updates. So you can either update promptly, or not at all. Other than that it basically boils down to you giving me money and me giving you code.