[CentOS] trying to understand OSS, GPL, BSD & other licensing model for software distribution.

Rainer Duffner rainer at ultra-secure.de
Wed Oct 7 00:26:51 UTC 2009

Am 07.10.2009 um 00:18 schrieb Rudi Ahlers:

> Hi all,
> We are busy developing some software (some is web based, others not)

Licenses are only about the source-access and how contribution/ 
deviations are licensed.

You can charge any amount you want for your GPL'ed stuff - but the  
source must be available for reasonable cost.

So, if one of your licensees redistributes a copy for free, that's  
perfectly legal (for GPL).

Charging for PHP-stuff has always been very difficult.
Some use IONCUBE encoder etc.

I don't know if charging for support actually makes a good business- 
You need a lot of contracts for that.

BSD-licenses carry a lot less burden - but of course you can't just  
take a GPL'ed piece of code and re-distribute it with a BSD-licence.
If your free product is GPL'ed and your commercial product is a  
derivative of that, it will also be licensed (well, need to be  
licensed) as GPL - if you give it away to somebody. If you keep it  
inhouse, nobody cares and nobody has a right to see the derivated  
source, just because it exists).

You should really enlist the help of a law-professional in this field  
- the licensing-minefield has gotten more and more difficult to  
navigate in recent years.
This is especially relevant in cases where you want to have "dual- 
licensed" stuff (as you mentioned).


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