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Support => Paid installation board => Topic started by: gpl on July 26, 2009, 07:52:57 PM

Title: Hosted SaaS Version of HCL, No Install Required
Post by: gpl on July 26, 2009, 07:52:57 PM
We started with an older GPL v2 version of HCL and developed it into a hosted SaaS version of the software.   Instead of having to install the script on your own server to get it to work, our service allows you to just sign up, follow the setup instructions in our FAQ, paste Javascript or HTML code into your website or eBay auction, and begin chatting with your visitors.

The HCL version we started with had security issues and lacked some required functionality.   We modified the code to be compatible with current browsers, fixed the security issues, added functionality, and repaired some bugs.   We are now looking for beta testers; the service costs $19. 95/month for the first operator and $9. 95/month for each additional operator, however, we are currently offering a 14 day free trial during the beta period.   Canceling the PayPal subscription before the trial period ends will result in no charges being levied against your account.

The service is at LiveCustomerChat. com.   If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at support@LiveCustomerChat. com.

Title: Re: Hosted SaaS Version of HCL, No Install Required
Post by: SpenserJ on July 26, 2009, 09:01:57 PM
Correct me if I am wrong, but don't any modifications of software under the GPL license, stay under the GPL license without explicit permission to change it from the original developer? And as such, are you able to sell it as just a service? Or must you also provide the backend to it (as you would do if releasing a binary version). I would also recommend linking back to HCL under the copyright of Michael Bird

And that is pretty expensive for what you appear to be offering! Plenty of other bigger (and more featureful) companies offer it for much less :P

Just a few thoughts,

Title: Re: Hosted SaaS Version of HCL, No Install Required
Post by: gpl on July 26, 2009, 10:34:27 PM
You only need to distribute the source code of any modifications of a GPL v2 project if you are distributing the associated files.   Implementing a SaaS service (an internal project whose code/binaries are never distributed) does not constitute redistribution under the GPL v2, which was originally created before Salesforce. com and other SaaS services became popular.   That is why the Free Software Foundation now offers a new GPL v3 license that requires redistribution of source code for SaaS implementations that utilize code from a GPL project.   However, the version of HCL we are using was licensed under the GPL v2.

At the bottom of every page of our site, we credit Michael Bird (who originally licensed the code) for the copyright on the portions that he owns.   The new service is different enough from the base HCL installation that a link back would confuse our users.   If Michael has a personal site/blog/online resume, we would be happy to link to it under the copyright section.

The service is considerably less expensive than LivePerson and offers much of the same functionality.   It is more feature-rich than most our our smaller competitors' products and $19. 95/month is a small price to pay for a managed service that spares users the need to manage their own implementation/hosting account.   I have also seen services that charge very little for this type of service and would not trust them with any serious implementation.   Chat services use a lot of bandwidth for the buttons that appear on users' sites and the long session times for operators.   If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is.