154 votes
Accepted

How can free and open source projects be monetized?

Whether or not you can make money with an open source project, depends on many things. Based on experience, I see three factors that are important: Which license did you choose? Take a look at the ...
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51 votes
Accepted

Can others monetize my project with GPLv3?

Yes, what is being done on that fork is entirely legal. However, you are also allowed to take the useful changes (like the translation) and incorporate them in your own fork. Then you can advertise ...
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43 votes

Can I publish a GPL source I'm being paid for to develop?

So it seems that you're doing this as a piece of contract work, not under employment rules, so the issue of work-for-hire probably doesn't enter into it. The rules about what you can publish and when ...
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  • 37.8k
27 votes

How can free and open source projects be monetized?

There are a huge number of ways earning money with free software -- but none of them is guaranteed. Just a few examples: Donations: Many users are willing to give a few coins each month for a project ...
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  • 526
23 votes

How can free and open source projects be monetized?

There are several methods, often dependent on the type of software you've produced. If you have space in a GUI, you could consider adding some adverts to it. There are plenty of services that provide ...
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  • 8,700
23 votes

Can I publish a GPL source I'm being paid for to develop?

This depends on the contracts for this development effort. The GPLv3 explicitly covers the case that you are doing development exclusively for someone else, and this is OK (section 2, basic ...
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  • 33.2k
19 votes
Accepted

Can I sell my MIT-licensed software if it is modified by others?

Depending on how they chose to provide their fork, yes. The MIT license, which you chose to license your work under, doesn't prevent anyone downstream from changing the license, nor from changing the ...
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  • 8,700
16 votes

Examples of companies undercutting smaller companies using FOSS?

"Stealing" code is copyright infringement, which is obviously avoided by most legitimate companies. Losing a copyright infringement suit can easily destroy most companies. On the other hand, ...
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  • 8,463
15 votes

How can free and open source projects be monetized?

Some projects sell the right to companies to use their code under a proprietary license. This is covered by Wikipedia in the Multi-licensing page. From Multi-licensing: Business models: Multi-...
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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
12 votes

Can I sell my MIT-licensed software if it is modified by others?

Yes, provided they license their improvements under MIT or another free/libre license. Please note that MIT (Expat) is a permissive license, so the fork may no longer be free/libre software - the ...
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  • 8,645
11 votes
Accepted

Can I be charged for support from the original developers when I fork a project?

Not after you've been given it. When giving you support, the supporter (the dev in this case) has essentially said "I'm happy with the payment I'm getting for this." If the payment is nothing, fine. ...
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  • 8,700
11 votes

How can free and open source projects be monetized?

Large projects like MariaDB or some of the many under the Apache Foundation umbrella rely on sponsorship from big companies who benefit from using the software. Others sell support/training services ...
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  • 370
10 votes
Accepted

Can I charge expenses for a work under CC BY-NC-SA?

The CC NC clause is really hard to get a grasp on, and Creative Commons do not provide much guidance about it. There certainly exists a lot of examples where it is not possible to give a ...
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  • 8,645
10 votes

How can free and open source projects be monetized?

There is no general guide for making money using open source projects because it highly depends on what the project is about. Some projects are combining open source + premium features (that are ...
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  • 1,329
10 votes

Pacifist copyleft-like partially-open-source license

To the best of my knowledge, there is currently no "pacifist" or "non-military" FOSS license that has been vetted by actual lawyers. Therefore if you wish to use a good license of this nature, you ...
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  • 8,463
10 votes

Pacifist copyleft-like partially-open-source license

Such a license would definitely not be open source (6: No discrimination against fields of endeavor) nor approved by the FSF (Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose). ...
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  • 4,999
9 votes

Can I charge expenses for a work under CC BY-NC-SA?

One of the problems with CC NC is that when you say "I am not sure what "Commercial purposes" are", you are not alone in that. The relevant clause in CC BY-NC 3.0 reads You may not exercise any of ...
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  • 8,986
8 votes

Can a social network site be open source?

When you run a social network, your main asset is not the software, but the community that uses your social network. You have to identify your competitive advantage. If your competitive advantage is ...
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8 votes
Accepted

How could the open source business model work with games?

Lots of software is focused on solving a particular problem (e.g., performing calculations, handling point of sale transactions, visually rendering and editing pictures/graphs). In those cases, the ...
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  • 30.9k
8 votes

Can others monetize my project with GPLv3?

IANAL, but I believe this is legal within GPLv3. That is why there exists Affero General Public License (AGPLv3) license. This will force them to share any source code changes if running it on a web ...
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7 votes

Could I charge people to use an open source license?

Licenses are documents to which copyright can apply, and the copyright terms of a license itself don't need to have anything to do with its content. So you can "license a license" and prohibit anyone ...
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  • 11.2k
7 votes

Examples of companies undercutting smaller companies using FOSS?

Plausible, an open source alternative to Google analytics, released a blog post detailing their move from MIT licensing to the AGPL (Affero GNU Public License). In it, they have the following claim: ...
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  • 452
7 votes

Can paid-for Open Sourcing be a viable model for a freelancer?

Coming from a background in open-source, your model is not that reliable. In general, open-source licenses must comply with the open-source definition, in particular sections 5 and 6: 5. No ...
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  • 373
6 votes

Examples of companies undercutting smaller companies using FOSS?

I'm going to answer your question from the perspective: what is the risk to open sourcing the technology that your friend's business has developed. I try to tackle your more specific question at the ...
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  • 298
6 votes
Accepted

Is making a living by working only on FLOSS projects a viable option?

It's heavily dependent on where you are/who you work for. Many companies exist solely to sell a product. These kinds of companies tend not to publish their code so that others don't steal their ideas ...
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  • 8,700
6 votes

How could I include my business partners / investors in the open source product development?

Trying to teach your investors how to program is likely a waste of time. They are not inclined to learn it, they don't have the time to learn it, and it is unlikely to help them make a business ...
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  • 11.2k
6 votes

Can I be charged for support from the original developers when I fork a project?

Yes and no: Yes if.... You have previously agreed to pay them for their service. For example if you went to the people helping you and said "I will give you $20 to help me". Them agreeing to help ...
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6 votes

Is making a living by working only on FLOSS projects a viable option?

You can build up your own business as a self employed contractor. You won't really be working only on FLOSS projects, but you can easily limit yourself to working only with FLOSS project If your ...
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  • 161
6 votes

Is making a living by working only on FLOSS projects a viable option?

You could look outside corporate life. Universities often open-source their code; in this way their experiments / data analysis can be reproduced by other parties. If academic work suits you, you ...
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