[cc-licenses] open source non commercial license

Ivo Emanuel Gonçalves justivo at gmail.com
Mon Feb 5 11:12:29 EST 2007


Hello Emerson,

You shouldn't be looking into CC licenses for software, especially
libraries that are to be used on many different situations and by many
different entities.

A 2 clause BSD license would be almost perfect, except it allows
companies to go rampant and use the work without attribution or open
sourcing the changes they did to the library.  The LGPL on the other
hand, is pretty much what you are looking for.

Check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGPL for more details.

Furthermore, if you want another suggestion, look into D,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D_%28programming_language%29 a very fine
replacement for the aging C++, which uses much of its sintax.  Since
it's relatively new, it's lacking good libraries and APIs, as of now.

Regards,
Ivo Emanuel Gonçalves

On 2/5/07, Emerson Clarke <emerson.clarke at gmail.com> wrote:
> For the past 4 years i have been working on a number of innovative
> internet technologies.  As part of this process i have produced a
> large cross platform library of C++ code.
>
> Whilst the core technology is too senstive, i would like to be able to
> open source some or all of the library code.  Part of my motivation is
> that i think there is a significant gap in currently available C++
> libraries.
>
> Libraries like STL, and Boost do little to address the majority of
> tasks that a software developer performs.  They are either too
> narrowly focused, or too abstract and esoteric.  There is no cross
> platform library for C++ which has the ease of use and productivity of
> the libraries found in other environments like Java, .NET or Python.
>
> The library which i have written supports strings, times and dates,
> threading, networking, xml, xpath, html, css, javascript, regular
> expression, collections, machine learning, encryption, encoding, sql,
> logging, filesystems, compression and many other features in an
> extremely easy to use object heirarchy.
>
> It is clearly written and easy to understand, and having been written
> by a single person ,it is consistent and follows a strict principle of
> least surprise.
>
> As such i think it has both significant educational and commercial
> value.  I would like to be able to provide it free to the open source
> and academic communities, but i do not wish for people to be able to
> gain commercially from my work.
>
> As a software developer who has previously worked both as a contactor
> and a consultant in industry sectors like investment banking and
> retail it concerns me that large companies can readily use, and
> indirectly or directly make staggering amounts of money from such use,
> open source software without paying a cent for the work which has gone
> into its development or contributing a single line of code back to the
> community.
>
> In most open source software the confounding factor is the attribution
> of work.  When you have hundreds and potentially thousands of
> individuals who have contributed to a project, it makes little sense
> to seek financial reward from the commercial uses becuase the
> distribution of such rewards would be impossible.
>
> Hence most open source software simply rests on the "share and share
> alike" principles which atleast encourage users not to exploit the
> work without giving something back.  Of course, the only truly "open"
> open source license are those which do not ask for anything back, but
> thats another discussion.
>
> Becuase i am the only developer of the software, attribution is not an
> issue, and likewise i am more sensitive to the exploitation for
> commercial gain.
>
> I would like for there to be a way that i could share my work with the
> open source community, the academic community, and indeed any
> individuals who wished to use it for non commerical gain.  But where
> by i was compensated for when it was used in any kindof commercial
> setting, not just as part of a commercial software product.
>
> I would like a licensing scheme which scales fairly, so that in a
> commercial context the cost of the license was equal to the size of
> the company.  Small companies pay less, big companies pay more.
>
> How can an open source license meet these seemingly conflicting needs,
> and how can i structure things so that the project can still grow and
> have external contributors once it is out there in the community.
>
> One way might be to set up a structure where by a certain percentage
> of licensing fees was donated to an existing open source foundation or
> one which represents the library itself. But such a scheme would be
> tricky to manage, how do you work out how much goes to the community
> and how much to the original developer.  It rapidly becomes an issue
> of attribution again.
>
> I have been thinking about this for many years, and sometimes i think
> the only way to achieve my goal is to just give it away and not worry
> about the commercial use.
>
> But there must be an alternative...
>
> Any ideas ?
>
> Emerson
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