Types of licenses


I have a few works, plugins, but I never troubled myself a lot looking into licensing and stuff.
My question is
What’s the best license to use on a plugin?
Pros and Cons?

Basically I want something that allows the plugin to be used and downloaded from the page for free but that can’t be redestributed under ads or sold.

I know there are a few, but I would like to hear your opinions about it


choosealicense.com can help you choose the license that is right for you but it looks like you want something like a GPL license that is considered viral (which means that any derivative work based on your code becomes also GPL)


Yes, I want something like GNU GPL v3.0

But without the Commercial Use, I don’t want people selling or distributing via surveys/ads what’s free.
A lot of websites do that, reuploading plugins (sometimes taking off their credits) and sticking a bunch of ads to them to make money, especially .ru ones.

I think this is what I want
Should I use CreativeCommons?

A license implies that, to some degree, people a free to do whatever they want with the open-source code. Not allowing commercial use goes against the very nature of open source. At least in your case GPL forbids sub-licensing.

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Definitely don’t use CC, it’s not made for software licensing.

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It sounds like what you want is more Creative Commons license such as Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International.

Basically this license means that the work can be downloaded, derivative works can be created but only under the same license or a compatible one, and you must attribute the work in whatever manner is specified by the original author (be that in the code, a link back, or simply just a small blurb somewhere giving credit).

Downside, this type of license isn’t technically considered an open source license.

I’ll probably go for GPL then.
I have to read both licenses a little more deeper.

Why isn’t CC made for software licensing?

creativecommons.org/FAQ Here’s the official answer but the general idea is that CC is made to be a general license and isn’t enough precise for code distribution.

you should never use a CC license for software licensing

CC is not meant for software :expressionless:

All of the licenses at choosealicense are designed for open source programming. Some are designed more for protecting your code than others. You can modify licenses, but you have to be careful with how you work things. LGPL and GPL were crafted by lawyers. If you don’t want to open source your project, all normal copyright law applies. Add “Copyright [namehere] [dateyear] All Rights Reserved” on all of your source and you are effectively saying, don’t use this because I own it. You can write your own license, but you should also be careful about that. Mojang uses their EULA. That is an End User License Agreement and dictates how someone can use their software. Personally, I prefer an open license that simply states that you can use my stuff, can’t steal it or claim it as your own, and you can’t sell it because I worked on it and you didn’t. :stuck_out_tongue:

A license like what I described is similar to 3-Clause BSD, except also stating that you can’t sell the product (on top of not being able to use it to endorse a derived product).

Licenses are complicated. Good luck.

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@DarkArcana I think I got it. Thanks.

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Hehehehe. I didn’t read most of the other comments until after seeing this post. I didn’t know I was beating a dead horse :V.


Personally, I prefer an open license that simply states that you can use
my stuff, can’t steal it or claim it as your own, and you can’t sell it
because I worked on it and you didn’t.

That’s pretty much what I want.

I’ll try to find a way to state it can’t be sold, but if I can’t I guess I’ll have to leave it that way.

I am not a lawyer, but you could add a 4th clause:

  • Redistribution of this software in source or binary forms shall be free
    of all charges or fees to the recipient of this software.
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Doesn’t include freedom? It’s one of the most free licenses there are. This extra clause just says, if you use my code, you have to give it to other people for free. You can’t take it and then charge people for it. That arguably makes it more free and less restrictive by nature because there are no paywalls.


While I was making this comment, @GingerGeek withdrew his comment.

Please don’t make up custom licenses. It leads to all sorts of issues. (For example, if the group redistributing the software is doing something that’s indirectly related that they are charging for.)

I suggest GPL v3.0 if you want to discourage commercial use and charging for the software. It requires anyone distributing your work to also distribute the source code, and prohibits changing the license so others must also be able to distribute the software for free. However, they can use a modified version on their server without distributing source.

If you want to require people who use a modified version on their server to release source code as well, the Affero GPL 3.0 is designed for that usage scenario. With the AGPL, if someone is using the software over a network (e.g. where the client interacts with a server running the software), any modifications must also be distributed.

While this does not prohibit commercial use, this legally requires anyone using the software to give back. Completely prohibiting commercial use has been done in some licenses, but is generally discouraged because “commercial” is a very broad term that can mean a bunch of things.


Another nice website I found really helpful for looking up licenses is https://tldrlegal.com/. It basically shows what can and cannot be done with the specific license. Additionally, the website also lists EULAs, ToS and similar hard to read texts.

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I’m a big fan of the MPL v2.0, it’s a bit more beefy than some of the other licenses, but it’s a nice compromise between fully open like MIT and locked down like GPL.

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