Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Looking for a license

Does anyone know of an open source software license that will allow individuals and non-commercial entities to use the software for free, but then not allow it to be used commercially? The license would also need to be a ‘share-alike’ license – any derivate works would need to fall under the existing license.
The The Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commerical, Share-alike license is pretty close to what I want, but I’d like something more related to software. If the license is GPL-compatible, that would be a bonus too. Thanks in advance.
(Oh Lazyweb, I invoke thee… )


    Make one to suit your needs.

  2. Remember, you can always make up your own. Take the GPL, take the Creative Commons license that you linked, take the parts from both that you want, read it through for coherency, and bingo.
    However, it’s not the easiest thing to do, and some may accuse you of not sticking to standards. So… yeah.

  3. If a license forbids commercial use then it cannot be GPL compatible, I’m afraid. That said, the Microsoft shared source license might give you what you’re after.
    You should also bear in mind that a license itself may be subject to copyright. So, before including a given licence with your software, you need to check that you have permission to copy the license itself in this manner. The legal cost of coming up with an enforceable software license is not insignificant and some companies may be unwilling to let you take advantage of their expenditure.
    For reference, this is a list of free software licences along with analysis of their compatibility with the GPL.

  4. That sort of license isn’t as easy as it seems. Trust me. 🙂

  5. What is an example of a problem which might arise from using a Creative Commons license for software?

  6. Looks like it’s Creative Commons then. It’s not a big deal, I just wanted something that was more like a typical software license than the rather generic Creative Commons license.
    Thanks to everyone.