0

I want decent developers to extend and use my framework as they please. Is there a middle-ground where it is open source, but only to these with the permission?

One of the 2 developers that uses it on one of his big products had great success with it and it was amazing to see it, but I know what will happen if I allow people that really shouldn't be writing code use it. I want to maintain a high grade of confidence in the products that use this framework and I'd like to pick who has access to it.

Then again, if the freedoms of the MIT license apply, it means they'd also be free to redistribute, creating conflict with my intent.

The license should say: "This software is not to be used, modified or interacted with in any way or shape or form unless permitted to do so[..] Should you receive permission, you are free to do anything under the moon, except re-distribute the package for commercial use."


My intent, if it helps clear it up: There are a lot, or dare I say, the vast majority of developers within the WordPress eco-system are bad and in the worst way possible. Even popular plugins / themes are bloatware and performance hogs with the code being a total mess. I don't want these people nor to use my framework, nor to interact with it. I've given access to 2 developers, one of which is very big and they're using it and seeing great results, these people have respect for their code base, strict rules and are adepts to good code and they've made good contributions. These people, I want to work with and give freedom to, yet it seems that my request in its own seems draconic and contradictorian in nature.

  • There are reasons why the Free Software and Open Source definitions are defined the way that they are. There were talks about restrictions, such as no use for bad endeavours. But it was decided that this did more harm than good. – ctrl-alt-delor Jun 16 at 19:39
4

No. The limited freedoms you intend to grant to approved persons

Should you receive permission, you are free to do anything under the moon, except re-distribute the package for commercial use

would disqualify this as free software, even if you gave those freedoms to everyone.

You have a further problem in that an approved person could then redistribute to a third party under, say, the Apache licence (as relicensing is a thing under the moon which is not redistribution for commercial use); the third party could then happily use it for commercial use. If you ban redistribution even by persons on the approved list, you fall even further foul of the free and open-source definitions.

it seems that my request in its own seems draconic and contradictorian in nature

I couldn't have put it better myself.

  • So what am I looking for, then? A simple EULA with the price really being $0? – coolpasta Jun 14 at 12:02
  • 2
    I don't know, but what you are looking for is not free/open-source, so it's off-topic for this site. – MadHatter supports Monica Jun 14 at 12:10
  • What site do you recommend for this question? I've tried on Software Engineering, got down-voted to oblivion. They suggest 'Law'. – coolpasta Jun 14 at 12:21
  • 1
    With respect, it's your job to find the site that's appropriate, if indeed one exists, by reading their individual on-topic pages. Given that what you're looking for is help writing a contract, Law might indeed be appropriate. Paying a lawyer might be even more so. – MadHatter supports Monica Jun 14 at 12:35
  • 2
    @coolpasta Law might not be a great fit either. What you want to do (i.e., only certain people have rights to obtain/use your software) is the model that a huge amount proprietary software uses for its distribution model, so it's obvious to me that it's a legal possibility. You want really fine-grained legal advice about how to implement this in practice without leaving any problematic loopholes -- I'd say that that's not really what a Q&A site like Stack Exchange is for, and I'd second MadHatter's suggestion to contact a lawyer, possibly one with experience in drafting contracts for software. – apsillers Jun 14 at 13:38
0

The short answer

No

The longer answer

Read the Free Software Definition. It says almost the same thing as the Open Source definition, but is harder to miss-understand.

The medium answer

To be free it must have

  • The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help others (freedom 2).
  • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

Extract from the Open Source definition

    1. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups
    1. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.