Help on Dual-Licensing Strategy

rghoo rghoo at
Sun Sep 9 19:44:49 UTC 2001

I would like to release some software with dual licensing. I have heard of
this being done with GPL and a seperate commercial license; however, I need
to allow the open source code to link with non-free software - this seems to
exclude GPL.

So, the next obvious consideration seems to be a dual license using LGPL.
That solves the above problem, but does it introduce new problems?...

What about contributions from 3rd parties - would they be discouraged from
contributing with the knowledge that their contributions could be exploited
(exploitation seems to be possible anyway with most non-GPL-based open
source licenses since they allow private forking).

Under a LGPL dual-license, reasons to pay for the commercial license (rather
than sticking with the LGPL side) include not being forced to distribute the
source code, the freedom to fork the code privately, re-licensing
permission, or some other 'special' privileges.

Does this make sense, or am I missing something? Is dual-licensing a
dangerous game or is it a good compromise, allowing both commercial
exploitation for those that are prepared to pay for it and free use of the
software for those that don't want to pay.

Has anyone seen this approach elsewhere?

Thanks for any new perspectives/opinions that you can offer.
Regards, Rghoo.
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