[cc-licenses] open source non commercial license
zotz at 100jamz.com
Mon Feb 5 16:06:50 EST 2007
On Monday 05 February 2007 10:52 am, Emerson Clarke 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 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,
> 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.
If you have stated your desires accurately, it can't work.
Open source doesn't just mean access to the source code. The distribution
terms of open-source software must comply with the following criteria:
1. Free Redistribution
The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the
software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing
programs from several different sources. The license shall not require a
royalty or other fee for such sale.
It is not going to be open source if you put anything like non-commercial on
> 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
> 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...
Nope, you may find a license that does a lot of what you want but your work
simply will not be a part of the open source world. It really is as simple as
> Any ideas ?
Make a decision. Which is more important to you. You have stated mutually
exclusive goals. You have to choose.
all the best,
(da idea man)
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