[License-discuss] Licenses for commercial products

Anton Shepelev anton.txt at gmail.com
Mon May 4 20:52:17 UTC 2020

Russell Nelson:

> 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.

Something I never understood is the handling of the disclaimer.
Commercial software will have to take some responsibility even
for those parts that it has incorporated from open-source programs
whose license dislaims *all* responsibility for errors. How do they
do 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.

Suppose my software is published under the Fair license and the
commerical vendor has decided to modify it to their needs. Will
they distribute the modified version under my copyright? Will it
not misinform whoever encounters my copyright in code I never
wrote (because it may be heavily modifed by the commercial vendor)?

> 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).

And if it isn't?

> 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

Although it is not the initial topic of the thread, but I am
interested publishing some of my company's code under an
open-source license.

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