I'm trying to make a dual-license source-available software that allows copying of the software for the sole purpose of contributing to the original software, with the exception of the copyright holders, who are 5 or so people. I planned on doing that by modifying a copyleft license, stating that copies must be distributed with a very restrictive license that doesn't allow usage or distribution. I chose to use the AGPL for this, but it said in the preamble that people may not modify it. I have three questions:

  1. How come MongoDB made the SSPL license, which is a modified version of the GPLv3?

  2. Can I do what MongoDB did to make my own license based on the (A)GPL?

  3. Is there a better license/license-combination for the purpose I listed above?

  • 2
    So the only way anyone can get a copy of this program simply for the purpose of running it is to get it from the rightsholders, ie, redistribution is not allowed unless the recipient also modifies it?
    – MadHatter
    Oct 22, 2020 at 6:47
  • 1
    That does not sound like a question related to open source as by the definition of the OSI and by this board. I vote to close. Open-source software allows anyone to use the software for any purpose - based on certain conditions. Oct 22, 2020 at 7:06
  • 3
    I’m voting to close this question because it's not about open source Oct 22, 2020 at 7:07
  • The open-source-relevant bit is the question about modifying the GPL itself, and we have already dealt with that.
    – MadHatter
    Oct 22, 2020 at 8:52


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