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I'm just starting an open source project. This question is not related to an existing project, but I want to avoid some mistakes.

I found that AGPL 3.0 could fit to my concept (copyleft, SaaSS safety, ...), but I'm a little bit curious about handling the following points:

  • Is it possible as project owner to sell an alternative license to customers (if needed) which does not respect the copyleft?

  • If so, do I need to ask all contributors to do that, or do I need to ask them before they commit?

  • Are there any other things I need to care about, or would it just be okay, taken to its extreme, to write something like "Use the community version which is licensed under AGPL or contact me if you need an alternative (paid) license to use this library in a closed source application"?

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Is it possible as project owner to sell an alternative license to customers (if needed) which does not respect the copyleft?

Yes, provided you are the rights-holder of the entire codebase, or you have the clear agreement of all other rights-holders (see next section).

If yes do I need to ask all contributors to do that or do I need to ask them before they commit?

Either will do. You can ask at commit-time, which is usually done via a Contributor Licensing Agreement and refusal of contributions from people who won't agree; or you can ask at re-licensing time, but you will have to get explicit buy-in from all contributors at that time.

Is there any other Thing I need to care about or would it just be ok, taken to its extreme, to write something like "Use the community version which is licensed unser AGPL or contact me if you need an alternative (payed) license to use this library in a closed source application"?

You can write that if you want, but I wouldn't rely on it come the time you cut your first commercial licence. An explicit CLA, or explicit project-wide agreement to relicense, will be much safer.

And of course, IANAL/IANYL, so get proper legal advice before betting a business model on it.

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