TravelSpirit is proudly ‘true open source‘. All the software we’re working with is under a copyright license approved by the Open Source Initiative, which means it guarantees everyone the freedom to use the software without any conditions or further approvals, plus the freedom to make any improvements and to share the software — original or changed — with anyone.
One of the side-effects of being open source also means the software is free of charge. That’s the natural consequence of making sure everyone can use, improve and share without further permission. But that doesn’t mean making money is forbidden. Everyone working on open source software needs to be paid somehow, but they achieve it using business models that don’t rely on artificially restricting the availability of the software and its source code.
The makers of open source software aren’t “giving it away” or “making it public domain”. All of them retain ownership of the copyrights they gained by creating the software. But instead of creating value by keeping everything secret and only sharing with a few people who pay, they choose to create value by joining a community of innovators. They leverage their copyrights by aggregating innovation from co-developers, by seeding and growing the marketplace for their work and by creating demand for the skills needed to deploy and improve it.
Some of the biggest names in business today — Google, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and more — make pretty much everything they create open source. By freely spreading their software to the corners of the world, they ensure the software on which they rely never gets sidelined and always gets improved by the best developers. By giving permission in advance for everyone to use, improve and share the software, they seed unexpected and continuous innovation.
At TravelSpirit, we are using the same approach. We’re aggregating existing open source technologies, improving them (and sharing the improvements back with their creators) and adding to them the unique innovations we’re creating to implement a mobility-as-a-service platform. We’re making everything we create open source so that others can build on our work, and in the process improve the code for us as well.
There are a diverse range of business interests in developing, maintaining and innovating a ‘commons of code’. The essence of open source is granting permission in advance to use, adapt and share code, so everyone involved can achieve their own goals without interference while still collaborating. Seeking affiliation with the Open Source Initiative, all new software in TravelSpirit™ is ‘true open source‘, licensed under the Mozilla Public License 2.0 and therefore compatible with many other open source licenses such as the GNU Lesser Public Licence 3.0. This means you can combine our software with a wide range of other software — including proprietary code — as long as you keep our code in a separate file.
For more about our Open Source approach to Mobility as a Service read here.