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I want to release come kind of computation engine as an open source project. For the whole source and usage, I am fine with the content of the GPL but what I want to make sure:

There should be a restriction for: Each computation is allowed on a maximum of 4 cpu’s / threads / parallel processes at the time.

Important: Nobody except us may have the right to extend or remove or revoke this restriction without our explicit agreement and confirmation.

It is possible to use a multi license for that project, so that anybody can get in touch with us to ask for a higher license to change the restriction.

I am aware of that this kind of restriction is just limited in a legally respect and not technically.


Just to make sure, if someone would like to run a paid service or whatever under the restriction just use 1 CPU - they are allowed - this is not something I am interested to prevent. I just want be safe when someone is doing a real business out from this.

I asked via mail at FSF to check wether it is possible to handle this restriction via Chapter 7 of the (A)GPL. The answer was given by a volunteer: Section 7 lists all of the A/GPL-compatible further terms. The restriction you propose would be incompatible, and would have the effect of making the software nonfree and proprietary.

marked as duplicate by MadHatter, Community Apr 23 '17 at 1:02

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Is this possible?

No. No bona-fide FLOSS license including and in particular the AGPL and GPL have a usage restriction, or can accommodate a restriction on usage

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    This is correct: according to Free-Software definition and Open-Source definition, software is not Free/Open if it has a restriction on use (such as in the question). Therefore your suggestion is in complete opposition to the GPL. – ctrl-alt-delor May 10 '17 at 20:36

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