Please, could you propose to me what kind of software license fits my project?

I am creating a software project that relies on paid license software. I will release this software for free to help the community. But my users have to buy the software used in my project in order to get the benefit of my project. So kindly share your ideas about what kind of license I can add in this situation to my project?

  • 1
    Exactly what is the relationship between your software and the paid for software? Is it calling it on the command line, used as a library, a plugin, etc, etc? May 31 '19 at 10:42
  • Paid software is used as a library in my project.
    – Prabakaran
    May 31 '19 at 10:46
  • Are you going to be annoyed if someone else implements a free version of the library and people are able to use your software project without buying your library?
    – MadHatter
    May 31 '19 at 12:27
  • 1
    Payed for is not the opposite of Free Software. Freedom ≠ price. May 31 '19 at 16:01
  • 3
    This needs more details to be answerable. As a simple example, many people have created free/open source programs that require the user to buy Microsoft Windows in order to use them, yet those are still free programs. Microsoft Windows also incldues libraries, which many (most?) free/open source programs for that platform depend on.
    – Brandin
    Jun 3 '19 at 8:27

Before going too far, I suggest you review the license for the library you are using. Sometimes these licenses impose restrictions on how they can be used with open source. For example, a library may say you can't use it with GPL projects.

Even if the license doesn't impose any restrictions, I recommend you look at a permissive license (like MIT or Apache 2.0) for your project. It's pretty well understood in the community that these licenses are compatible with closed source commercial software. That analysis is more complicated with restrictive licenses like the GPL and some people may bypass your project as a result.

If you want to encourage adoption and use, consider a permissive license. If you want to ensure that no one uses your code to create and distribute a closed source version of your project (and if the library's license allows it), you should consider a copyleft license like the GPL. But note that this option comes with added complexity for your users. Good luck!

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