If I have software that I want a non-profit or non-commercial entity to use, improve, etc. and so on, and I want them to have it open source, say GPL3, but I don't want commercial entities to be able to get it and sell it (maybe MIT non-Commercial) or make a proprietary source, can I have a license for the same software for each type of industry?

  • 3
    There is no such license as "MIT non-Commercial."
    – Brandin
    Apr 30, 2018 at 9:29
  • 1
    Why the downvotes? Was my question not specific and clear?
    – johnny
    Apr 30, 2018 at 14:12
  • Mouse over the down arrow; the popup says "This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful". Downvotes without comment may be presumed to be for at least one of those reasons.
    – MadHatter
    May 6, 2018 at 7:22

1 Answer 1



What you have in mind is neither Free Software nor Open Source because restricting how software can be used and who can use it is against basic principles.

See also https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#NoMilitary

  • 2
    It’s worth pointing out here that you absolutely can license software this way, it just won’t meet the Free Software Foundation’s definition.
    – RubberDuck
    May 1, 2018 at 16:20
  • Sure. But this angel of the question is off topic here.
    – user10225
    May 1, 2018 at 16:33
  • Dear downvoter: please tell me the reason for your downvote.
    – user10225
    May 1, 2018 at 18:00
  • I did @LutzHorn
    – RubberDuck
    May 1, 2018 at 18:09
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    @LutzHorn I have to agree with RubberDuck here. The scope of the site may be centered around FLOSS, but we don't cut out information simply because they may or may not mention FLOSS. The issue I have with answers that cut out these sorts of information is that you start to generate incredibly specific answers that then start failing to serve the purpose of the site, which is to provide useful and genuinely helpful information. You've answered "no" - but you didn't provide the alternative which would give this answer an A+. I assume this is the main reason for RubberDuck's vote.
    – Zizouz212
    May 1, 2018 at 20:20

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