[cc-community] NC license for software

Mike Linksvayer ml at creativecommons.org
Mon Jan 10 11:00:49 EST 2011

On Sun, Jan 9, 2011 at 10:09 PM, Skjddsjkkj Kjdsjksdkjsd <
bollocsnutsack at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

> Hey,
> I'm the copyright holder of a piece of gaming server software which an
> investor has expressed interest in using on a site of theirs. As a
> precondition, they wish to be the sole competitor in the market for a period
> of time until the software is placed under the GPL.
> Now I think it'd be nice to have the source-code available, and their only
> wish is the NC clause (they're cool with the source-code being open). At
> first glance cc-by-nc looks ideal.
> - cc-by-nc for 1 year. Grant them usage of the software.
> - After 1 year, full release under the GNU GPL.
> But CC expressively advises *against* licensing software under it. However
> it's the most ideal license I've found so far. Any suggestions? The source
> code is written in Python, and there's no binary- only plaintext source
> files.

The general concept has been done before with software, most famously by
Aladdin (GPL releases one version behind, which worked out to be about a
year delay). You can see the license they used for the commercial
restriction period at http://www.artifex.com/downloads/doc/Public.htm

Several years ago they switched to going straight to GPL for current
releases. I mentioned this at
http://gondwanaland.com/mlog/2006/06/07/ghostscript-free-now/ from where you
should be able to find other links and/or right keywords to figure out

Another, or complementary option, to limit the nature of competition, since
you're talking about server software, is to release under the AGPL.

Using a CC BY-NC license not recommended for software seems unnecessary
given there are well tested alternatives used for software.


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