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I'm releasing a bunch of code that is part of free teaching resources and lessons I'm providing.

For the most part, I'm totally fine with others reusing the code however they want. That's the point.

The one thing I want to avoid though is somebody either taking one of the sample projects and just wholesale republishing or selling it (or making super-minor trivial changes) or trying to take the whole package and republishing or selling it.

Does anyone know of any open source licenses that would fit the bill?


Edit: To be clear, my main goal is that someone doesn't take this and restrict others access to it by suddenly putting a price tag on it in their "own" "course". I'm not so much worried about them taking the code and doing something like publishing an app on the app store.

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    I don't think such a license would be considered open source. Besides, you're probably going to have a tough time specifying in the license what level of changes are sufficient (non trivial). For example, if I translate the entire work to another language, that is not trivial but clearly it is completely derived from the original. – Brandin Jan 17 at 10:56
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the license it requests would not be free or open. – curiousdannii Jan 17 at 13:46
  • I may have phrased it wrong. My main goal is that someone doesn't take this and restrict others access to it by suddenly putting a price tag on it in their "own" "course". I'm not so much worried about them taking the code and doing something like publishing an app on the app store. – samanime Jan 17 at 16:16
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Forbidding someone from redistributing or selling the work is considered a restriction that prevents a license from being an open source license. This means that there cannot be any open source licenses that meet your requirements.

What you could do is to use the Apache 2.0 license and use the attribution mechanism of that license to ensure people get at least a link to your original resources. That might be a slightly bigger deterrent for re-publishing than just having to preserve your copyrights.

You could give an additional waiver that the attribution may be dropped if a single sample project is used as a template to create a new project.

  • Thanks, that might be pretty close to what I'm looking for. – samanime Jan 17 at 16:15
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    THAT'S REALLY BAD ADVICE. INCLUDE THE APACHE 2.0 LICENSE IN YOUR WORK AND PEOPLE WILL ASSUME THAT YOU ARE GIVING THEM THE RIGHT TO REDISTRIBUTE YOUR WORK. – Bryan Grace Jan 17 at 18:22
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It sounds like you should go for GPL, check them out. They allow any use, must distribute full source. If somebody makes a million bucks, good for them! But they must give full source to anybody who gets the program, no futher strings attached (except for those of GPL).

Please read and think over David Wheeler's essay "Make your Open Source software GPL-compatible. Or else.". Go check the various "what license should I use" sites, like choosealicense, see and compare licenses at the Open Source Initiative. True, it is work, but it isn't a decision to be taken lightly either.

In any case, make sure you are the owner of the code (any pieces from third parties? other collaborators? you wrote this as part of your job/studies (then it probably belongs to your employer/school)?). If not, you'll have to get any (substantial) contributor/co-owner get to approve the license formally.

  • Thanks for the suggestion. I am the complete owner of this so no worries there. The only problem with GPL for these purposes is I don't want to force them to have to release their source. I'm totally fine if they take part of what I've done and mix it into something completely their own. That's kind of the point even. I just want to protect against near wholesale reuse or pay-gating of the material I made. – samanime Mar 1 at 16:54

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