I'm creating a website. Some of functionaly is using open-source libraries from npm, github, etc.

I want to monetize my sites using ads, or even I want to create some sites template and sell to others. But, I want my project copyrighted as mine.

Is there type of libraries license or even toolkits license that I use for building the site that should be aware?

  • 1
    You can copyright the new content that you create making use of the libraries, but you can't incorporate the libraries themselves into the copyrighted material. Analogously, suppose I write a program in C. Then I can certainly copyright my newly-created source code. But I can't incorporate the C compiler as part of my copyright submission. Commented Nov 24, 2019 at 2:45

1 Answer 1


Regarding the copyright, copyright automatically goes to the person (or organization) that wrote the code. You will own the copyright of all the code you write (unless you have a contract that says otherwise), but you will not own the copyrights on code written by others. And it doesn't matter if those others contributed directly to your project or if they contributed to a library you use.

What you should be aware of license wise is

  • Open source licenses can not forbid you to try to monetize your project
  • The GPL and AGPL license are somewhat problematic around monetization. Monetization is allowed, but people receiving the binaries (for GPL) or interacting with the binaries (for AGPL) must be given the right and possibility to offer the same product without the ads/subscription fee/etc.
  • There are (non-open source) licenses around with a "no commercial use" clause in them. Most forms of monetization go against those clauses.
  • CMIIW, So I can create a project (the source) for private & commercial use and then monetize (ads / sell the source), except If I use the some GPL & AGPL libraries? and what happen if use the toolkits under GPL and AGPL licenses? Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 2:46
  • If I running sites under WordPress (they said WordPress has GPL license), so Is my entirely front-end/back-end sites must be GPL licenses? Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 6:42
  • @EngkusKusnadi, I rephrased the problems with monetization in the (A)GPL. Does that answer your questions? Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 7:49
  • Of course you answered my question, my bad I'm ask for additional things in comment section. Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 8:24
  • @EngkusKusnadi, I considered your earlier comments to be requests for further clarification on my answer. That means there was a distinct possibility that my post did not answer the questions you really had. Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 11:13

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