I'm getting ready to open source a project that facilitates the deployment, maintenance, and orchestration of data platforms on just about any architecture (locally, on any cloud of your choosing, on your personal server farm etc.). Given the nature of the project, there is a chance that cloud providers might eventually want to offer this software as a service. I am perfectly fine with commercial enterprises using this software freely as part of their own internal tooling. However, I was wondering if there was any way to require the purchase of a paid license in the case where a cloud provider might offer this software as a service. The relatively recent SSPL from MongoDB seems to have taken a first step of formalizing "as a service" when it comes to licensing. I also really like the added requirement that any such service provider must provide their (modified) source code. Here are my questions then :
- Would it be possible to use a modified version of the SSPL to impose a fee only in the scenario where the software is offered as a service ?
- Is there any way to extend this requirement to also apply to the API implicitly defined by my code ? Simply put, can a paid license still be required if the hosted service reproduces my API but entirely with their own code ?
- On a more subjective note, is such a practice generally frowned upon by the open source community ?