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With 3.5.3.0 emby is no longer open source?


pryoclastic
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It's not really about increasing revenue, it's about protecting what we are pouring several years of our careers into. I don't think we're comfortable with a license that would allow others to fork everything we have into a competing project. What we might be comfortable with though is some type of personal source code license of our own design that would allow you, as a hobbyist, to get what you want, while also giving us the protections we'd like to have.

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Baenwort

Having been through a couple of these go around before it I'm worried about the closing of this project, as at least when an project sells out to someone looking to extract rents or moves in a way that abandons a small subsection of the community that uses a little utilized feature that they don't see value in, with the Open Source model there is typically a fork that continues the original vision or support. 

 

I'd always thought it was so hard to move from open source to closed source that it wouldn't happen (see ffmpeg example above) to something like Emby.  That is why I've in part tried to move all my software to open source when possible. 

 

What makes Emby so easy to move over compared to other OSS? I'd like to know if there are any signs I can add to my evaluation of software in the future as my current evaluation is faulty. 

Edited by Baenwort
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metsuke

It's not really about increasing revenue, it's about protecting what we are pouring several years of our careers into. I don't think we're comfortable with a license that would allow others to fork everything we have into a competing project.

 

This makes sense in theory, but I'm wondering if there were any specific instances of competition to Emby which were enabled by open-source code?  Did you see this happen with other projects?

 

In general, I personally don't really see this happen.  If there was a practical and credible threat to Emby's business, then I could see a reason for the license and terms to change, but preemptively just seems to make for hard conversations, a schism in the community, and a disqualification of usage for open-source advocates who are more adamant than myself.

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makarai

@@Luke I think emby is a great project and really much better than the orange project that shall not be named. However, I don't really see any competition on the market for a decent media server, so where do you see code beeing misused or even stolen. Jellyfish wasn't even on the market before the announcement or young partly closed source.

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The 3.6 beta integrates components that we're paying licenses for. This was the immediate reason for closing of source. That doesn't mean it has to always be that way, however, everything requires work and when such modularization would happen would be prioritized the same as everything else. To do this in such a way as to separate from the core code base would take work, and we chose not to further delay the 3.6 release on account of that.

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metsuke

Thanks for your reply Luke.  It certainly helps to understand your reasoning, and it makes sense.  Hopefully there will be time in the future for said modularization.  Thanks for making this stellar product; it is well worth the premiere price.

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Jucgshu

Possible to know what those 'components' are?

 

Because from what I read, there are basically 2 arguments to close sources:

- New components (TV?).

- 1 new paid dev.

 

These 2 arguments are good arguments to make money, no doubt. They seem irrelevant to close the sources.

 

Btw, keep writing that closing source 'doesn't mean it has to always be that way' is at best a promise you will never keep. Would you say there were plans to open source the apps for example?

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Blackclaws

It's not really about increasing revenue, it's about protecting what we are pouring several years of our careers into. I don't think we're comfortable with a license that would allow others to fork everything we have into a competing project. What we might be comfortable with though is some type of personal source code license of our own design that would allow you, as a hobbyist, to get what you want, while also giving us the protections we'd like to have.

You do not seem to understand how the open source business model works. Maybe you also found out that it simply does not work for your product and thus decided to close the source now. This is a shame but if its the only thing that appears to make sense to you economically its understandable. You might have wanted to run a couple more calculations on what brings in money to your project and how you think that closing the source is going to increase those revenue sources.

 

There has been a steady downward spiral ever since the move to dotnet core regarding the openness of Emby and its sad to see that this is the final conclusion you arrived at. I also find it sad that Emby apparently hasn't really been leveraging the potential of open source i.e. community contributions since you do not appear to care for them by closing the source. Essentially you didn't have the sort of engagement with the developer community that you would have wanted in order to really push the benefits of an open source project. I also wonder what you mean by "protect your developments" etc. open source software is about leveraging the community to decrease development investments and engage users. You lose that completely now. I wonder whether there has been any other company that basically took Emby and also sold some addon for it? Else if you are afraid of competing with basically a project that is identical to Emby Core then you have a problem anyway....

 

Seeing as how there are a lot of commercially successful completely open source projects that also pay core developers there appears to be something off with your business model, either on the expense or the income side. But as I said, maybe this home entertainment server market is not big enough, or your extra offerings not interesting enough, to make it viable economically.

 

I would really like to see you make the switchover for the people that want to continue the open source route as easy as possible by clarifying the license on all components of the last open version of Emby Core, even though that might not be in your commercial interests it would certainly improve your standing at least a bit in their eyes. Hence once again I refer to this issue:

 

https://github.com/MediaBrowser/Emby.Common/issues/1

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MRobi

I'm not sure I understand why this decision is such an issue. To make business decisions based on pleasing a subsection of a subsection of their user base wouldn't be sound business practices. The argument I keep reading is "what competitors are there right now that you're worried about?". In any business you have to think ahead to the future, and while there may not be somebody today trying to compete, what's to say that next year there won't be? Why provide them with a platform to build off of? To me, protecting your code is no different than filing for a patent. Why do you think Coca Cola's "secret recipe" has been stored in a vault since the 1920s? Or KFC's 11 secret herbs and spices aren't made publicly available? Or what about Nike and their swoosh logo? Did they wait until someone stole the logo before filing a patent on it or did they do it to prevent it from happening? Businesses all over the world choose to protect their investments every single day. It's not the "beginning of the end", it's simply good business practices.

 

I understand that open source can help reduce development costs because anybody can contribute. But we don't know how much that has actually happened in this project. If 99% of the load is being carried by the Emby team, then maybe the 1% contribution from the open source market isn't worth putting their project out there for anybody to see. If they're paying developers and paying for licensing then why would they even consider putting the source out there for someone else to come in a year down the road and use their investment as a platform to develop a competitive product?

 

To me, being open source for a revenue based product doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

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Blackclaws

I'm not sure I understand why this decision is such an issue. To make business decisions based on pleasing a subsection of a subsection of their user base wouldn't be sound business practices. The argument I keep reading is "what competitors are there right now that you're worried about?". In any business you have to think ahead to the future, and while there may not be somebody today trying to compete, what's to say that next year there won't be? Why provide them with a platform to build off of? To me, protecting your code is no different than filing for a patent. Why do you think Coca Cola's "secret recipe" has been stored in a vault since the 1920s? Or KFC's 11 secret herbs and spices aren't made publicly available? Or what about Nike and their swoosh logo? Did they wait until someone stole the logo before filing a patent on it or did they do it to prevent it from happening? Businesses all over the world choose to protect their investments every single day. It's not the "beginning of the end", it's simply good business practices.

 

I understand that open source can help reduce development costs because anybody can contribute. But we don't know how much that has actually happened in this project. If 99% of the load is being carried by the Emby team, then maybe the 1% contribution from the open source market isn't worth putting their project out there for anybody to see. If they're paying developers and paying for licensing then why would they even consider putting the source out there for someone else to come in a year down the road and use their investment as a platform to develop a competitive product?

 

To me, being open source for a revenue based product doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Then you should look into open source business practices. There is a lot of interesting academic research on the topic as well and I've been to a couple of lectures that treated this topic.

 

There is also a difference between a patent, a trademark and copyright on code which make your comparisons lack a bit.

 

1) Patents are protections on technical innovations that require you to obtain a license from the patent holder in order to implement

2) Trademarks are symbols/phrases/logos that are protected so that they cannot be used by others in order to protect a brand

3) Copyright on code is what we are getting at here, which in its proprietary form which is not open source basically says: You are not allowed to copy this code/binary unless we allow you to.

 

There is also a fundamental difference between open source, copyleft and free software licenses. You can open source a product but NOT give it a license that allows others to use it. There is the common misconception that simply because you can read a piece of code that you are allowed to use it as well. That simply isn't true.

 

The license that was chosen for the Emby project basically said: "If you make alterations to the code and distribute the code or binaries built from that code you also have to make the source code available under the same license to the one receiving the binary." which is a very short gist of GPL. GPLv3 also says that if you include patented technologies in your code then you license these patents to others as well.

 

The question really comes down to what your business model is. If your business model is: "Sell the software" then choosing a license that allows anyone to build it from scratch probably won't make a lot of sense.

 

If you business model however is: "Give the software away for free and then sell add-ons for money" then giving the software away makes sense again. Plex is doing the same thing, with the only difference being that they never chose to open their code base to others. Maybe there aren't enough people willing to contribute. However looking at the Jellyfish project that sprang up the moment Emby went closed source has me doubting that.

 

I would like to point your eyes at a couple of commercially successful open source projects:

 

Gitlab,

Firefox,

Mysql,

Docker,

Essentially the entire RedHat and Suse Linux world

 

there are more but I think you get my point.

 

Those projects of course have business models that don't translate to Emby 1:1. The question really is what is their business model.

 

The problem I see with this decision mainly is that its a step in the direction of: "Ok, so we have decided to make feature X premiere only." thus reducing the feature set of Emby Core so that more people might be willing to shell out for more features.

 

I guess the main question I would ask at this point is: "Why aren't enough people buying Emby Premiere that it apparently isn't profitable enough?"

 

Luke said in this thread that the main reason to go closed source was that they are now paying for API access.... This was from the start not really communicated, second could have probably been solved by an Add-On of sorts that only works with Premiere enabled or something of the sorts.

 

The talk about maybe in the future opening it up more again is to me an empty promise. As basically the open sourceness of Emby was slashed the moment the move to dotnet core was made and suddenly build scripts and the likes weren't available anymore because they were "Proprietary technology they weren't comfortable making open source due to the effort that went into them"

 

I get it, you don't want to be open source anymore, you aren't seeing the value in it, you want to protect your investment, in my eyes a bad move for everyone. Time will tell what will happen to Emby and whether that was an economically sound decision or not.

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pryoclastic

While I choose open source projects first, I am (regrettably) not skilled as a programmer (excluding shell scripting, of course).  Thus, I cannot effect any software changes and rely on the herd for protection.

 

Some people are knob twisters and level pullers.  I am not, so a long list of neato "features" is not going to snag me.

 

What wraps me around an axle is "telemetry" and/or "calling home" in all forms.  I paid for a lifetime Plex and walked away from it because it dependency on the Plex mothership.  I am not and will never be a product.  Screw that.

 

So while I can generally hold my nose and ignore the open/closed source conversation, telemetry is my deal breaker.

 

:D

 

It would be nice if there was an Emby "Lite" version that is:

  • truly open source
  • recorded OTA broadcasts
  • played local media only ( I dont want to connect to somone elses media server.  ever.)
  • didn't call home
Edited by pryoclastic
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We're happy to say we have zero telemetry, in fact, our information gathering is entirely manual just by talking to all of you.

 

Note: I'm referring to the upcoming 3.6 release. 3.5 does have anonymous usage reporting which can be turned off. In 3.6+ this is eliminated altogether.

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We're happy to say we have zero telemetry, in fact, our information gathering is entirely manual just by talking to all of you.

 

Note: I'm referring to the upcoming 3.6 release. 3.5 does have anonymous usage reporting which can be turned off. In 3.6+ this is eliminated altogether.

 

You should probably make a statement saying such into a sticky post / mission statement / explanation and put it in big letters somewhere so it's visible.

 

The majority of concerns that have been raised fall into a few general categories:

 

  • "You are going to monetize me by selling my viewing habits to third parties"
  • "You are going to tie me in with all sorts of phone home / telemetry checks to check I'm a premium member, without these Emby won't work"
  • "The roadmap is going to be dictated by paying third parties now, not what users want"
  • "Everything is driven by cash now, not the wish for a better piece of software"

 

There will always be a bit of "OMGWTF I CAN'T READ THE SOURCE CODE NOW!!!!111" but I think if you are open and transparent these will quieten down over time... 

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Spaceboy

You should probably make a statement saying such into a sticky post / mission statement / explanation and put it in big letters somewhere so it's visible.

 

The majority of concerns that have been raised fall into a few general categories:

 

  • "You are going to monetize me by selling my viewing habits to third parties"
  • "You are going to tie me in with all sorts of phone home / telemetry checks to check I'm a premium member, without these Emby won't work"
  • "The roadmap is going to be dictated by paying third parties now, not what users want"
  • "Everything is driven by cash now, not the wish for a better piece of software"

There will always be a bit of "OMGWTF I CAN'T READ THE SOURCE CODE NOW!!!!111" but I think if you are open and transparent these will quieten down over time...

indeed. Communication
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pryoclastic

[Deleted] - I can't be bothered.

 

I am glad that you self censored, but I want to comment on your underlying thought process that generated your post.

 

 

All of you lot who are stamping your feet, especially those who don't even read or contribute to the source, what's the big idea?

Open source is a social contract that says come one, come all and here is what we offer.  When the goal posts of that contract are moved and/or misrepresented no one is required to contribute to the code as a prerequisite to rightly be offended.

 

The context of the comments sounds just like the disingenuous "I have nothing to hide so I will surrender my privacy freely".

Edited by pryoclastic
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notla49285

Open source is a social contract that says come one, come all and here is what we offer.  When the goal posts of that contract are moved and/or misrepresented no one is required to contribute to the code as a prerequisite to rightly be offended.

 

The context of the comments sounds just like the disingenuous "I have nothing to hide so I will surrender my privacy freely".

 

My main point is that a few people on here are threatening to quit Emby just because of this move, which seems to be a bit disproportionate to what is happening. If Emby suddenly said "we're taking your usage data whether you like it or not" or "we're not showing any of our code any more" then yeah I get it, but this doesn't seem that much of an issue to me, especially as a lot of it they don't have a choice over e.g. third party APIs. I will repeat the final point in the original post - if you quit Emby, where will you go? Do you think Plex will treat you any better? Because they won't.

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Baenwort

My main point is that a few people on here are threatening to quit Emby just because of this move, which seems to be a bit disproportionate to what is happening. If Emby suddenly said "we're taking your usage data whether you like it or not" or "we're not showing any of our code any more" then yeah I get it, but this doesn't seem that much of an issue to me, especially as a lot of it they don't have a choice over e.g. third party APIs. I will repeat the final point in the original post - if you quit Emby, where will you go? Do you think Plex will treat you any better? Because they won't.

 

I don't know how the Emby Team feel about discussing alternatives to Emby on these forums but I know of at least two alternatives to Emby that aren't PLEX and are feature complete for my usages. I haven't moved over and until this entire closed source move I hadn't looked and wasn't aware of anything else. 

 

I like to spend my time doing other things (like watching Emby) and while Emby was open source I didn't bother keeping up on alternatives. I'd felt safe assuming that it either wouldn't die, would be forked if they went down a bad path and I'd follow that fork, or would become have a refresh of devs after a fallow period like GIMP has.  One of the two (non-PLEX) alternatives mentioned above is a fork from the last open source version of Emby.

 

Now I worry and spend time I didn't want to due to this change, of which I've heard good arguments against but few that have communicated to me why this had to happen. I'm still here and I'm going to give the Team time to prove themselves but I'm monitoring and spending time in a way I would rather not.

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daedalus
One of the two (non-PLEX) alternatives mentioned above is a fork from the last open source version of Emby.

after you have named 3 of 4 come on and name the remaining one

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Baenwort

after you have named 3 of 4 come on and name the remaining one

 As far as I know I've only named PLEX, which I've seen in the past that the Emby Team doesn't have any problem with people talking about.

Edited by Baenwort
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daedalus

you mentioned as alternatives to Emby, Plex and the fork of Emby, which first has to prove itself (we all know which one, cause there is only one "popular"), so whats the forth ?

and you should not advertise something, but just name it

can't imagine this would be a problem

Edited by daedalus
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acjohnson1985
  • 7 months later...
acnp77

@@Luke

 

The fact that I can not tweak the code does not bother me, because I am not a developer. But I can read and understand the code and verify that things like privacy are handled in a way that are ok for me. It's all about trust.

 

Now I ask myself if I can trust the project in the future. Emby startet as open source and you promised it would stay this way. I also paid to support your project. And today I find out you changed your mind.

On the other hand I can understand the reasons. It's almost impossible to support so many different devices and functionality with only open source SW.

 

If you can answer the following questions with "yes" I will continue to be a great fan:

 

- I can continue using Emby in the future without having to connect to any "outside" servers. My devices connect directly to my server.

- There will be no usage or location tracking.

- I can still run Emby without internet access if I want (of course some functions like scanning for metadata etc. will not work)

- My premium "lifetime" license will continue to be valid.

- Your intention is to keep the project user-driven and transparent.

- Debian will still be supported as a server, even if I might have to change the system to allow proprietary sw.

 

Thank you!

 

 

 

 

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