Successful open source businesses depend on factors outside of their codebase, such as:
- Brand positioning and PR
- Customer base
- Talented engineers and business professionals able to scale
- Strategic partnerships
If Facebook’s codebase gets stolen and replicated as, who cares?
Even Technological Companies Don’t Revolve Entirely Around Their Codebase
Sure, high-quality product is a necessity for acquiring market share. But there’s so much more to that.
- Will you beat Google’s market share and adoption if you clone their codebase to a new domain?
- Can you take over Airbnb without their reputation, customer base, and listings?
- How would you recruit drivers and riders if you clone Uber’s or Lyft’s apps on the AppStore or Google Play?
Successful businesses build a name, acquire market share, land investments, hire A-star players, and keep dominating by innovating quickly. Chances are, a single developer stealing the entire codebase (virtually impossible) will be light years behind the original product a couple of weeks later after all the work put in by the core team.
There’s A Negligible Concern Over Stealing A Codebase
Moreover, companies have strict contracts in place (and hungry legal teams), patents, and investments that could keep them afloat for much longer. A single rogue developer cannot overtake an entire market with a leaked source repository.