This is the question we are being asked too often. If you are looking for a quick answer, here it is: Please don’t remove Oxwall reference from your site. We wouldn’t like you to do it even if you offer money.
Now, some background. From the very start we thought it was important to be really ‘open source’. What does it mean and how is it different?
The problem is the term is severely abused. You can see a lot of companies (including social software) putting ‘open source’ tag on their work but actually using it as a marketing ploy. Some of them go as low as encrypting/obfuscating source code to prevent easy removal of references and selling “licenses” to remove those extended backlinks, clearly created to annoy site owners.
And the “business model” seems to work. A lot of people think they need to make an impression that they build their websites themselves. C’mon guys, if governments use open source software for their websites, do you think it’s a shame to acknowledge you do the same practical and honorable thing? I can smell the anti-competition rationale here but people should understand that software has nothing to do with the ability to run communities. There must be a reason why Facebook still haven’t been eaten by “competition”?
People falling for this meme enable pseudo-opensource companies do what they do. However we believe this is not what open source stands for and not how it should make money to support development.
It is not accidental that we use CPAL license. It’s less restrictive than GPL, for example, because it doesn’t make you release any derivative works under the same license. With CPAL you can keep your version closed, include it in larger works, sell your own distributions, fork and relicense, whatever.
We don’t want to restrict your benefits from our work, nor do we want to impose hidden costs on you via marketing tricks. It’s just that we give you results of our hard work for multiple years in exchange for you helping us spread the word.
Oxwall reference is small, unobtrusive and designed to not make you want to remove it. It is one of a few ways to promote free software. If you got a lot from Oxwall and feel like giving back, please help us with that.
Although we reserve the right to let somebody rightfully remove the required reference, the reasoning shouldn’t sound like “hi, I want to remove your link because… I don’t like it there”.
Thanks for creating with us!