[cc-licenses] open source non commercial license

Emerson Clarke emerson.clarke at gmail.com
Fri Feb 9 08:11:00 EST 2007

> > So in the last two days ive built a website and cleaned up 250,000
> > lines of code to get a release out before the end of the week :)
> >
> > For those who are interested you can check it out here:
> >
> > http://reasoning.info/examples.htm
> >
> > And you can download it here:
> >
> > http://reasoning.info/download.htm
> Emerson, I wish you success with your efforts. It has been quite a ride so
> far... ~;-)


> Just a heads up - from this link:
> http://reasoning.info/license.htm
> " The commercial license also gives you access to all of the features which
> are not included in the open source version."
> I personally find it a turn off and a red flag when projects do that. It
> causes me to doubt their commitment to Free software. It does not always keep
> me from the project, but if I am choosing between two, it can make a big
> difference.
> I invite others to comment as well for your benefit.

Ok, i can see that point of view.

I hope that the usefulness of the framework will outweigh such
concerns for most people, and to be honest there isnt really a lot of

>From a commitment perspective, this is my first real foray into the
world of open source and i hope that people will appreciate the 5
years of work ive put into this.

I think its unusual for such a framework to be produced by one person
and i have to juggle my desire to go open source with the need to pay
my rent and uphold existing commercial commitments which have allowed
me to get where i am.

I don't have a day job, i am lucky enough that this is what i do full time.

> Also, since you are going down the dual licensing route, you need to develop a
> plan for contributions. You are going to need for people to at least give you
> some sort of writen license to their GPL contributions, otherwise, if you do
> build any community of contributors, the GPL version will quickly outstrip
> the commercial one which I would not mind, but which would defeat your
> purpose.
> In light of the fact that if you start getting contributions, your income from
> your non-free (commercial is not really the best choice of words here as you
> can easily be commercial on the free side as well) licenses will start to be
> based off of their work as well as your own, you might want to think about a
> plan which would give some of that income back to your contributors according
> to some published plan. I know of no other dual license projects which do
> this now, but some may indeed be doing it without my knowledge. If not, you
> could set a trend.

Initially i wont be asking for contributions, and i am aware of the
penalty that i pay in terms of community becuase of this.  But right
now i could not accept any such contributions without a copyright
disclaimer so im happy for it to be a one way street.

I think this is a standard problem with dual licensing, but i had
thought that perhaps i could provide some kind of guarantee that in
exchange for copyright i will give a certain percentage to the free
software foundation, or some other open source cause.

I cant imagine how royalties for individual developers would work, its
so hard to assess the value of any one contribution.

Keep in mind that my plan is to use a flat rate license of around 10
pounds per individual/employee.

This model keeps the commercial code very close to being donation ware
for most users. Only large corporations would pay hefty fees, and for
open source purists hopefully it is so close to being spare change
that it will not scare too many of them away.

> I see you are making your gpl code available for download at not cost. I think
> this is wise, but just for your and everyone else's information who may not
> know this yet, this is not a legal requirement. You could very well charge
> per download or for the first download every month or whatever. Trying this
> may greatly reduce your uptake, but it is legal.

Really ?  ... how does that fit with the provisions the GPL makes for

Or is it a case of being able to cover reasonable costs, like hosting ?

> Also, in our back and forth, I got the idea that perhaps you thought some of
> your stuff might benefit from patents.
> I thought you might be interested in what Don Lancaster writes on the subject:
> http://www.tinaja.com/patnt01.asp

Thanks.  Personally i disagree with "software idea patents" as RMS
would call them.  I don't think they benefit the industry.

But i im a little more flexible when it comes to truly unique
algorithms with commercial value like PageRank, though the uniqueness
of any algorithm is debatable.


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