Welcome back to the blog. In this post we will describe future plans for Talking flight monitor and its move to a closed source platform. It will also move to a software as a service subscription model. There is a decent amount to cover, so let’s get started.
After careful review of the GPL3 license, along with professional consulting from a licensed attorney, we decided that the paid addon model will not work. The GPL3 license requires that any software interfacing with paid plugins that work from a proprietary license is in violation of the GPL3 license. On the other hand, any software licensed under a proprietary license accessing portions of a GPL3 licensed application must comply with the GPL3 license. This means that the paid plugins we would make requires distribution of that plugin’s source code. Since the closed source plugins would have security mechanisms to validate user licenses in place, it is a security risk to both users and Talking flight monitor. It opens the door for hackers, viruses, and other issues that compromise security. Another aspect of this decision is in Talking flight monitor’s current codebase. At this time, it would take significant rewrites to portions of the code to accommodate a paid plugin system. It also presents a security risk while in the open-source market. When closed source, it would take minimal code modification to implement a security mechanism to validate users and subscriptions.
Currently, there is no interest in Talking flight monitor’s source. During the past three years, there have been a few pull requests to add minimal functionality to Talking flight monitor. There also seems to be a lack of interest in the preview builds as offered. Compared to the official release, the preview builds are hardly used. Sure, there are some community users that make use of the preview builds, but it is minimal. As Talking flight monitor grows and expands its offering, it is starting to incur expenses that need a consistent revenue to stay alive. With the amount of research, coding time, and hours of work dedicated to Talking flight monitor, the project cannot continue unless it is compensated for its time and effort. We also have put our vested interest on the line. In its current state, anyone can take the source, modify it, and claim it as their own derivative work. With the past three years on the line, we need to protect our intellectual property.
Over the coming weeks and months, we will start to shut down the opensource aspect of Talking flight monitor. During this time, development will stop while we make the transition. Any official downloads or preview builds will still be available during the transition period. Once the transition is complete, we will modify the website to accommodate paid subscriptions, feature request forms, bug report forms, and new contact forms. Once that is complete, we will make any adjustments to comply with local and international copyright laws, licenses, and distribution requirements. Once Talking flight monitor is secure, we will remove the official build and any preview builds that are available on the website. We will then modify Talking flight monitor to validate subscriptions, then offer it for purchase. The preview builds will be available to anyone who has a paid subscription. Talking flight monitor will also offer private beta cycles for a select few that apply as a private beta tester. The terms of the beta testing program will be announced later.
Again, the move to closed source is to simplify the licensing process and compensate the developers for their time and expenses. More about the transition will be released as more details become available. We hope you have enjoyed Talking flight monitor as an open source project, and continue enjoying it as we move to closed source.