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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Johannesburg,South Africa

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

    Hi all,

    We are busy developing some software (some is web based, others not) and I am having a bit of hard time understanding (or rather, choosing) a license model to work with, We will offer some free software (PHP based scripts, and even Windows based applications) and for this I'm sure the GPL, or even LGPL (for the network side?) will work fine.

    But, we also need to suppose these scripts, and will be charging for support (other for installations, customization, or even custom derivations, etc), but at the same time we need to distribute some commercial software to cover developer's salaries, rents, marketing, business growth, etc.

    Now, my question(s) is as follows:

    Can I sell one script as GPL, but another as AGPL, or even BSD under the same company name? And if these 2 are tied together (i.e. being able to be used together, although seperate programs / script - for example Apache + PHP), how would I license them?

    We are writing a series of PHP + MySQL based scripts which can be used on the internet, either stand-alone, or in conjunction with other scripts (API driven), and I want to offer a free, limited edition, as well as commercial edition with more features. We're also writing some software that makes use of MySQL / sqlite / postgresql, and even MSSQL, so I need to take their licenses into consideration.

    What would be the best license for this? I know it's broad, but there's just too much to readup on the different licences and I've read a lot already, not knowing where to go. I have a feeling that I may need to go the dual / multi-license route, but even then I don't know which licences to use.

    The open source projects wouls also be open for other people to add their own modifications, but I would also like to allow others to write commercial addon's as well.

    Any pointers, and even past-experiences?
    South African Web Hosting - || SA WebHostingTalk -

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    This is for your business? Get legal advice from a real lawyer who deals in intellectual property law. I would take any advice you get here with a grain of salt.

  3. #3
    I am agree with mattle . For this purpose you need to contact with a lawyer specially who is working in intellectual property laws. Its very important for you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    inside wht
    The first think is you need to read GPL licenses a number of times.
    - A GPL Software: You must need to give the source code . Even you can sell a GPL software but you need to give the source code
    - You can't sell same software with two licenses. But you can sell different version of softwares like commercial version and free software versions with different features
    - In gpl v3 you can use / bundle binary libraries too ,
    - Both opensoucre of ware and Free software are different
    - If you need your on free software license it must be accepted buy gnu ([email protected])
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    New York, NY
    If your software uses GPL code, you would have to release your software under the GPL as well. However, if you own all the code, you can dual-license your code.
    Scott Burns, President
    BQ Internet Corporation
    Remote Rsync and FTP backup solutions
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