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Can I develop a commercial Foswiki extension and sell the license for profit?

With TWiki commercialized, extension developers need to know how they can earn some compensation for their hard work.

Like most consultants involved with Foswiki this question has vexed me in the past. My continued involvement with the project depends on my being able to make a living selling software and services related to Foswiki.

I have not received any legal advice on this point, but my understanding of the GPL is that it is not possible to release a Foswiki extension under a license that is not compatible with the GPL - e.g. any license that involves charging money for the software itself. This view tends to be supported by everything I have read. However you can limit the availability of the extension and release it only to people who contract with you for support services, as long as the software itself is released open source.

My advice is to accept the GPL and release your extensions freely and openly. If your work is of good quality and high value, people will come back to you for more.

-- CrawfordCurrie - 17 Jan 2009

GPL does not prevent you from receiving compensation for your work. You are allowed to not give your extensions to anyone that does not pay for it - the only thing you cannot do, is prevent those people you do give it to, from passing it on to anyone they decide to.

GPL does make shrinkwrap style software sales difficult and seat based licensing stupid, but solution based sales is easy.

Remember, GPL is about allowing receivers to modify and to redistribute, so compensation streams focus on knowledge value adds.

-- SvenDowideit - 17 Jan 2009

QuestionForm edit

Subject Not sure...
Status Answered
Topic revision: r4 - 07 Feb 2009, ArthurClemens - This page was cached on 06 Aug 2020 - 20:40.

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