Open Source Newbie

David Woolley forums at
Sun Aug 31 11:51:50 UTC 2008

Deepak wrote:
> 1. With so many types of license, how do i choose which one should be 
> used or adapted from? Can i do this at all? How do we get an approval 

If you need to ask this question, you need legal advice.  No-one here 
can give you such advice here, although some (but not me) may be able to 
give you it if you become their client.  In many countries it is illegal 
to give advice except from a qualified lawyer to their client.

A qualified lawyer would need to understand your objectives and to make 
sure that you understand all relevant risks.

> from the open source org for an approval of the license?

With difficulty, unless the licence really is unique.  You should choose 
an appropriate existing one.

> 2. What is the difference between the two web sites and the license on 
> these websites?
> <> and 

opensource catalogues and approves licences for computer software. 
creativecommons creates licences for documents, and possibly images.
Creative Commons' role is closer to that of the Free Software 
Foundation, although the latter is implementing a rather specific 
policy, but the former tries to cover all policies except that of total 
proprietary control.

> 3. We are thinking of offering paid customer service for this offering 
> at a later point of time.

That is part of your contract with the customer, not the licence.

> Would it be ok for us to offer paid customer support and accept 
> donations for running this initiative/ offering at the same time?

I believe both of these rights are guaranteed for all OSI approved 
licences.  Assuming you own the copyright, I think you would have to 
explicitly contract with a client not to do them before there would be a 
problem, and, for an open source product, it would seem to be shooting 
yourself in the foot to deny yourself rights that you gave to your 
licensees!  For the avoidance of doubt.  This paragraph should not be 
considered to be legal advice.

David Woolley
Emails are not formal business letters, whatever businesses may want.
RFC1855 says there should be an address here, but, in a world of spam,
that is no longer good advice, as archive address hiding may not work.

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