Release comercial application's sources as GPL but with restriction in usage

David Ryan david at
Tue Feb 15 22:41:01 UTC 2005

I think the QT Public License does just what you suggest in #2 and is 
approved by OSI.  The following clause is taken directly from

3b. When modifications to the Software are released under this license, 
a non-exclusive royalty-free right is granted to the initial developer 
of the Software to distribute your modification in future versions of 
the Software provided such versions remain available under these terms 
in addition to any other license(s) of the initial developer.

Its because no other licenses have this clause that I am creating a 
license which has this effect.  The QTPL is quite thin in many other 
areas which is why it can't really be used.  I think this clause creates 
a good ground for business developers to release high quality code well 
maintained source into the open source community.


> <>I don't think that can happen in most realistic scenarios.
> Suppose Party A writes some software and releases it in a dually licensed
> manner, one open source, the other not.
> Party B gets the open source version, finds a bug and fixes it, 
> contributing
> it back to some community repository.
> Party A CANNOT then take that fix and then put it into their dually 
> licensed
> source base unless:
> 1. Party B expressly gives Party A permission to do so, either thru 
> another
> license or thru relinquishing ownership of the code (either to Party A or
> into the public domain).
> or
> 2. The open source license Party A originally used gives them the 
> ability to
> do so.
> I'm not aware of any open source license that meets #2 above. Thus Party B
> would have to relinquish ownership.

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