Choosing License

Feb 19, 2008 at 3:20 PM
Hi.
I'm actually creating a project and being blocked about the license.
I'm not so good in english, so I surely miss some points in any license description.
As there is not custom license choice, the Microsoft Reciprocal License seems to me good enough for what I want.
But the problem (and for any other license) is that it permits "selling".
So maybe I didn't read right, but I want a license that doesn't allow for any user selling capabilities... Just this.

Did I miss something ?

Thanks.
Feb 23, 2008 at 5:34 AM
Sorry we cannot provide advice on which license you should choose for your project.
Feb 24, 2008 at 5:22 AM
I am not a lawyer, and I don't represent Microsoft or any other company. I'll just explain, roughly, how the open source model is supposed to work.

1. All open source licenses, as defined by OSI, allow the user to sell the software. From the OSI's definition of an open source license at http://www.opensource.org/docs/osd

"The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources."

2. It won't hurt you if someone charges a modest fee for a distribution of your software. For example, some companies will bundle open source software together and sell it for ten bucks or so. They're essentially charging for the service of providing the software in a useful form, not really selling the software itself.

3. Some people do run scams where they take open source software, relabel it and sell it for a lot of money. But look again at this clause in the MS licenses: (you'll find similar clauses in most open source licenses)

"If you distribute any portion of the software, you must retain all copyright, patent, trademark, and attribution notices that are present in the software."

So if the attribution notice tells users that the software is freely available, they'll demand their money back. So the scammer has to take it out, and that's where they most plainly violate the license agreement. You should probably require that your attribution notice be displayed to the user during product installation and when the application starts up, otherwise they can stash it in a text file no one will read.

4. Most people need to use software for business purposes. If you cut out commercial usage of your software, you're making it useless for the best users, and also the people who might want to hire you for other things.

5. The final thing to remember: as the copyright holder (and possibly trademark or patent holder) you must defend your copyright. Honest people will respect your wishes regardless of the legalities of your license, just out of decency. If someone is trying to cheat you, you'll have to pay for a lawyer.