A dual license system for code libraries?

Agner Fog agner at agner.org
Sun Feb 26 07:01:00 UTC 2017

On 25-02-2017 18:49, Paul Boddie wrote:
> On Saturday 25. February 2017 15.43.54 you wrote:
>> Don't get me wrong. It is not my goal to make money. My goal is to make
>> free software libraries.
> But it is still like asking for business advice, because many of the issues
> are exactly like structuring the interests in a business. I mentioned the
> matter of assessing shares in a project, and this is the kind of thing that
> platforms like Gratipay explicitly avoid because it is a difficult problem
I certainly want to avoid that too. Distributing money among 
contributers to a project would be a nightmare.

Again: I don't want to make money. I want companies that make profit 
from an open source library to contribute something back to the 
free/open software movement. The money could go to some other project 
that needs it or to FSF or some other non-profit organization.

If we don't make a way for private companies to pay for GPL software 
libraries then we are forcing them to develop a proprietary alternative 
to the library. This would not be good for the promotion of open software.

> projects like PostgreSQL are permissively licensed, but they do have
> companies operating in their community that do fund the development of such
> projects. The issue here is whether those companies contribute enough back to
> the project or not.
Intel is contributing a lot of work to the Gnu project. But their 
motivation is to serve their own interests, making sure Gnu software 
works optimally on Intel processors. Intel's competitors cannot afford 
to contribute as much, so the result is that Gnu software might perform 
less optimally on AMD and VIA processors. I think this kind of industry 
contribution is problematic.

Allow me to repeat my initial idea:
> I have also thought about a scheme that requires no administration. 
> You would get a commercial license automatically by donating a certain 
> amount of money to some non-profit organization and posting proof of 
> payment to some repository. Would that work?
Any suggestions for worthy organizations that would be happy to receive 
this money?
It has to be organizations or projects that somehow contribute to free 
software or digital freedom. Anything else would probably be too 

More information about the Discussion mailing list