GPL as a business model was the subject of Jeff Eaton of Lullabot's session at the CMS Expo.

He began the session by explaining the difference between free as in speech and free as in beer.

Jeff then went on to outline what it means to release software under the GPL license including the right to get the source code and the right to customize and distribute the software.

There were several questions from the audience and it was clear that the question of what will come of MySQL after the acquisition of Sun by Oracle was a common concern.

Take away points included:

  • GPL breeds GPL
  • If you distribute, others can distribute
  • Your code may be a product but it may also be a tool you use to deliver a product
  • Sell your brain, the understanding of people and problems is your most valuable asset

Jeff went on to outline various ways to make money in the GPL world.

[Editor's Note: See our detailed article Open Source: The GPL, Your CMS Project and You]