Cocognut author mulls open sourceBy Chris Williams. Published: 13th Feb 2005, 11:22:31 | Permalink | Printable
Options considered as sales fallMarc Warne says he is considering releasing his commercial file sharing application Cocognut as free software. With sales reportedly down to just a few copies a month, Marc contacted users of his Gnutellanet client to gauge their opinion on whether or not freely re-releasing the software is appropriate.
"I would like to open up CocoGnut to other RISC OS users, namely those who don't want to pay for it. I am extremely thankful to all of those who have paid for it, as it has made my university life a lot more affordable, but now that I've got a job, getting £15 every month or so doesn't matter as much," said Marc.
"I'd like more people to continue to use RISC OS without feeling that there's no peer to peer software available for free."
Marc suggested that the application could remain commercial, but with cash from sales going towards charities and online liberty organisations. Alternatively, the software could be released for free without the source code, or with an open source licence. Marc says he's siding with the latter two options, although is still weighing up the decision.
Users on the Cocognut mailing list said they would support Marc's decision to release the software for free. While a GPL licence for Cocognut would allow other programmers to work on the software, Marc says he would prefer a BSD licence. Other suggestions from users include developing a 'Pro' version of Cocognut, which remains commercial, that supports other file sharing networks, such as the ever popular BitTorrent.
Marc adds that development of Cocognut will continue, regardless of what happens.
Cocognut was first released in April 2003 and is the platform's only working file sharing software that allows users to swap media, such as music and videos, over the Internet. Unlike classic file sharing networks like Napster, the Gnutella network is decentralised, which makes it difficult for authorities, furious at the sharing of copyrighted materials, to shut down the network.
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