62 votes
Accepted

Can I license my project with an open-source license but disallow commercial use?

No free/open-source license may disallow commercial use. The whole purpose of the Free and Open movements is an altruistic one: if you're making your project free and open, you're gifting it to the ...
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  • 8,700
43 votes

Can the MIT license be applied to music?

Can it be applied? Yes. But it would seem unhelpful to make anybody using the music to repeat the contents of the MIT license which makes multiple references to "Software"; that is at best ...
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41 votes

How can I deal with this (predatory?) scenario?

TL;DR: Open Source is not about fairness, but about Software Freedom. It is irrational to publish Open Source, and to be then surprised that others are exercising their freedoms. Once a company has ...
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  • 33.2k
38 votes

Is there a generally accepted "anti-copyleft" clause or license?

To my knowledge there is no such license. Note that this license may not be considered an open-source license. In no case would such a license be a permissive license that could be compatible with MIT ...
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  • 33.2k
33 votes

Which license can protect a software to be distribute without changes under a different name?

This license isn't going to do what you want it to, for two reasons: I get the code, I add one space to an error message. It's now a modified version, so I can distribute it. I get the code. "My ...
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32 votes
Accepted

Is there a generally accepted "anti-copyleft" clause or license?

the code or derivative works can never be re-licensed under a GPL/Copyleft license Ironically, I think the best practical strategy to accomplish this is to license your work under a (very weak) ...
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  • 30.9k
24 votes
Accepted

Which license can protect a software to be distribute without changes under a different name?

My colleague has posted an excellent explanation of why a licence that does exactly what you've asked for would be pointless. It would also be non-free, because the right to distribute both non-...
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  • 37.8k
23 votes
Accepted

How can I judge the "strength" of a licence?

Speaking about “strength” is a simplification. Recipients must comply with all the licenses of all the components that are part of the program, and you cannot choose a license that makes compliance ...
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  • 33.2k
20 votes

Should I use the WTFPL for my FLOSS project?

The WTFPL fulfills your requirements. Three very similar things you can do with your requirements are Release it under the WTFPL Release it under CC0 Release it into the public domain These things ...
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  • 8,986
19 votes

Is there a generally accepted "anti-copyleft" clause or license?

If you release your code under a permissive license, it is not possible for anyone to "relicense" it under a less permissive one like the GPL. By issuing a permissive license, you grant everyone the ...
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17 votes
Accepted

How can I start an open source project and keep people from taking it and selling it? I want to keep it free, open and never be sold

It's impossible, if you keep it Open Source, you can always sell it. The Free Software Foundation says: Actually, we encourage people who redistribute free software to charge as much as they ...
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  • 10.8k
17 votes
Accepted

Very permissive license

If you are looking for something very permissive then you do have to use a license. Quoting GitHub's help page about licensing: Generally speaking, the absence of a license means that the default ...
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17 votes
Accepted

Open-source license to prevent commercial use?

What you are looking for is, I think, the common practice of selling exceptions. When an organization or a company is the sole copyright owner of a software, or have a permission to do so from all ...
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  • 5,257
17 votes
Accepted

License that allows contribution and distribution but no custom builds

There is no open source license that would satisfy these requirements because it goes against the fundamental principles of Software Freedom and the Open Source Definition. The freedom to create (...
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  • 33.2k
17 votes

Is requiring a link to my site allowed for a FOSS license?

The idea to force users of the software to advertise the original author is not new. It was first seen in the 4-clause BSD License. There was a lot of criticism about the advertising clause, and it ...
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16 votes

What type(s) of licenses ensures that forks of my project will stay open source?

The general term for this type of license is copyleft, share-alike or (pejoratively) viral licenses. The two best-known examples of such licenses are the GNU General Public License (for source code) ...
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  • 319
16 votes

How can I forbid shady resale practices?

Let's examine the MIT licence: Copyright (c) [year] [copyright holders] Standard copyright string Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software ...
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  • 261
16 votes

Is there a good license for a libertarian programmer who's against intellectual property?

Anyone may use the software for any purpose they choose ... However, no one may place any type of restrictions on my software Your basic problem is that these are self-contradictory aims. In the ...
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  • 37.8k
16 votes

Which FSF- or OSI-approved licenses limit corporate usage in spirit, but not in letter?

Frame challenge: neither the FSF nor OSI have point 2 as a goal. To quote the FSF: “Free software” does not mean “noncommercial”. A free program must be available for commercial use, commercial ...
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  • 268
16 votes

Can I license my project with an open-source license but disallow commercial use?

Yes you can (but with big caveats) There are several licences that disallow commercial use of the software (or other intellectual property). Most notably CC BY-NC 3.0 but please keep in mind that it'...
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15 votes
Accepted

Should I use the WTFPL for my FLOSS project?

By using WTFPL: you will not get any attribution when somebody use your work offending language/title of the license itself may potentially cause your project to be filtered out in some circumstances ...
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15 votes

I want to make my private GitHub repo public; can I put part of it under MIT license, and keep the rest protected?

There's no legal problem doing that, but it is confusing, and it's almost inevitable that some people will think the MIT license will apply to the whole repository. This is a situation where a git ...
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15 votes

Which FSF- or OSI-approved licenses limit corporate usage in spirit, but not in letter?

While the question is valid, the broadest ideal of open-source is to make all software open-sourced, including that which is used for profit. Broadly, some strong-copyleft OSS licenses have a "viral" ...
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  • 251
14 votes

Is there a one-stop guide to choose a licence?

That would be GitHub's Choose a License tool. This wizard will let you choose what you're most concerned about - be it giving maximum freedom to your users, preventing patent claims, or ensuring that ...
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  • 2,100
14 votes
Accepted

Pros and Cons of using MPL-2.0 license?

Am I allowed to distribute the project for money under this license? Yes. However, if you distribute/sell binaries, then you may not charge extra for the source code. And, as the MPL license is a ...
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13 votes

Appropriate licence for later merging back

I want to provide a commercial license for somebody who is willing to pay on top of open source one (LGPL allows it, right?) As a copyright holder you always have the option to dual license your ...
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13 votes

License for code snippets?

It seems that you don’t need a typical FLOSS license at all. If you want to let everyone use the code snippets and allow them to do whatever they want to do with them (which includes publishing these ...
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  • 5,300
13 votes
Accepted

Possibility of non-commercial ‘open-source’ and attribution based licence

If you want to restrict your software to not be used for commercial purposes, it is not open source. You can release it under multiple licenses - such as the GPL and a commercial license (where a ...
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  • 2,100
13 votes

How can I forbid shady resale practices?

Changing the license at this point can't help you, they already got their copy under the original license. But, if it really is the MIT license, it has a clause in it about attribution. So, if they ...
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  • 503
13 votes

Open-source license to prevent commercial use?

There is now a license specifically designed to create source-available software for non-commercial use, namely the Commons Clause License. There have been some very strong characters in the history ...
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