Clearly, there have been major missteps on both sides here. LibLime clearly antagonized the community, but the community brought its own antagonism toward LibLime into the (non-)discussions with PTFS, it seems, and adopted an "all-or-nothing" position.
In my experience, taking an all-or-nothing position significantly increases your odds of getting nothing. This seems to be a case in point.
A few observations: LibLime's original explanation for the need for a private repository makes complete sense to me. Where things went off the track there is in their failing to keep their word about merging back improvements combined with their (apparent) effort to do an end run around the license by moving the service to a web-based back-end, and thus never "distributing" it.
Yeah, that's bad.
Equally bad, I'd say, is the unwillingness of the community to even hear PTFS out under NDA. Businesses have clients, and clients don't necessarily want all their information shared with the world at large, rightly or wrongly. Businesses have businesses to run. I suppose you don't conduct your business discussions on public email lists or in public IRC channels, and I wouldn't expect that PTFS would want to, at least initially, until some general groundrules had been determined, either. Do you?
By not even being willing to talk, any possible progress was stopped, given that PTFS had issues they believed needed to be discussed under non-disclosure. PTFS made an investment in Koha and extended a friendly (apparently) hand to the community. They were rebuffed, it seems.
Is this situation a consequence that no one could have foreseen? Are people surprised here?
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