[License-discuss] Licenses for commercial products

Russell Nelson nelson at crynwr.com
Fri May 1 15:33:28 UTC 2020

On 5/1/20 7:26 AM, Anton Shepelev wrote:
> Hello, all
> May I ask a question in this mailing list about the interpretation
> of a license for a commercial product? Although it would be
> patently off-topic, I don't know of another place where one may
> seek help of people converstant in legalese.

Any open source license may be used with any commercial product. We're 
fine with commerce. Go, make money off your open source software. Just 
remember that the software is open source, and anyone who receives your 
software must be free to sell it just as you have sold it.

If you've created the software, you have an edge on anyone who tries to 
resell it, because you are the source of the software, and the copyright 
notice will recognize that, and these other resellers will have to 
advertise you as they resell it.

No, they can't just strip off the copyright and add their own. That is 
intentional copyright infringement, and you can sue for treble damages 
(as long as your software's copyright is registered). Most open source 
software isn't associated with commerce, but if yours is, the treble 
damages can be significant enough to get a lawyer's attention. She will 
then be willing to sue for a portion of the damages, costing you nothing.

If you were thinking of licensing your software with a license which 
isn't open source, well, then we wish you good luck and godspeed. You 
should employ a lawyer to write a license that meets your needs.

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