If you want companies to pay you, then ask them to pay you. Keep it as a simple license (not one that has devs asking wtf it is), but offer a commercial bundle with email and dev support, LTS, backwards compat and perhaps authentication modules (for LDAP/AD, OAuth) and I think you'd be surprised by just how many companies make these purchases (I make them all the time).
Also, on price - $100-300 is "no-brainer i'll put it on my credit card and expense it at the end of the month" while €800 is approaching purchasing decision territory for a lot of companies.
Slight rant - the itext license change was frustrating because we were using it on a project, and then the license change happened. The minimum price seems to be $2500, and I couldn't tell if it was per year or what. But to have it on a dev machine, and a test server too, drove the price up more - something close to $6000 IIRC (but it's been a while since I looked in to it).
I completely understand the motivation behind the pricing changes, and if it turns out that fewer people use it, but they pay... that still works out for most parties.
I'd encourage the nodemailer author to consider a couple other options - something under $500 for commercial usage, and a higher price point for some extra degree of support (1 business day turnaround time, etc?). As others have noted, a smaller amount is something I can float or simply absorb - larger amounts introduce hesitation, or pushback from clients on pricing (especially if it's a term/time license).
We don't use Nodemailer, but we might now that I know about it. I'll see if we have a use case.
Might want to also offer a premium release for 10x or even 20x, since that falls into the "No Brainer" category for larger corporations who would look at 800 as a sign of low quality.
I wonder where you get a good commercial license to use like this. Is it always a custom thing requiring expensive lawyers or is there some repo of commercial licenses one can use?
Now, from a practical point of view, that may be perfectly fine for him. If he's not getting many contributions anyway and doesn't really care about it, funding the project through license sales can make sense. Sometimes I think people don't think about the trade off that's required, though. I've seen people get frustrated with the lack of outside participation.
However, I agree with you. In this case, it seems like a smart move.
It's not copyleft, but if you ask you might be able to use it that way.
Selling copyleft exceptions works fine with existing free and open source licenses.
The problem for me is I remain somewhat uncertain about the implications. If I use this within a service that requires payment from customers, it seems to me there is no change. And most software using this is likely to be delivered as a service right? Maybe I misunderstand the license.
In a way if the approach was more aggressive it would be easier for me. I could just go to the people that write the cheques and say: we use this software. New version requires payment. Write a cheque.
As it is I'm not sure whether we have to pay or not. As for donations - well I could make one personally (in fact I will) but it is unlikely to be 780 euros...
The optimistic assumption is that no, that would never happen, your product will not be a derived work because using the library with it is "mere aggregation." But the license doens't clearly spell out what is a dervied work and what is not-- there is not even the discussion of mere aggregation that the GPL has.
The license also has the "death penalty" clause that the GPL does, which means that your license to use it can be permanently terminated if you are found to have violated any part of it.
So basically, I would say, stay away. And people in open source projects should stay away too, for the same reasons... you don't want this fighting it out with the existing open source license of your project.
The licence costs are always trivial compared to the department's revenue and budget, and it completely avoids any hashing over "will we violate copyleft if we do X". Now the answer is always "we bought it, its ours".
At home, I just use the copyleft version. My personal blog engine is open source, and on github Anything else I make, I don't mind open sourcing if it comes to it.
700 Euro a year is trivial. We've spent more money on drinks while talking about licensing our own product.
Now the answer is always "we bought it, its ours".
If the licence is more restrictive than that, then it is likely the business will fail because if we have to jump through hoops, we might as well (a) use another product, cost isn't a factor or (b) use the copyleft licence and hire lawyers.
You can, as much as you can use any copyleft license - ie. you have to make the source code of the files available. One thing to keep in mind though is that in EU the distinction between strong and weak copyleft (ie. GPL vs LGPL) probably doesn't exist - it hasn't been explicitly proven in court, but there is a past case which shows that the most likely interpretation is that there isn't such a distinction and in EU merely linking does not create a derivative work (you can read about this in this page from the official EC EUPL site https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/community/eupl/news/why-viral-li... which also explains some issues the current wordings have and why the case is not 100% clear).
You can read more about EUPL and how it can be used here: http://www.ifosslr.org/ifosslr/article/view/91/164
Maybe people are selling spam/crm software that uses nodemailer for sending emails?
If it's sold as a saas - this change makes no difference (hence see the Gnu Apl) - if it's sold as traditional software - perhaps it will make difference in some rare cases (applications with unreasonably tight coupling).
Dual-licensing under the EUPL and GPL, with the option to choose either, would be helpful. Otherwise Nodemailer is incompatible with the majority of other copyleft code.
Do you mind elaborating what you mean by this?
I also wonder how many corporations integrate and redistribute nodemailer; I'm sure there's a few - but I'm guessing most just use nodemailer. Apart from paranoid legal teams, the licence change shouldn't make any difference.
Now, someone distributing a firewall appliance using nodemailer for sending email alerts would have to provide customers with a copy of nodemailer source under copyleft - along with any changes. I still don't see why that would translate to payments to the author.
IANAL, but this sounded reasonable to me.
My understanding is that, at least with LGPL, you can have a closed source program distributed with a LGPL shared object/dll (plus license text) that gets loaded dynamically, but I don't think you can do that with GPL proper.
Static linking (IIUC) is right out (for closed source projects).
Using a license to extort money from commercial entities who he seems to say use it without paying a dime for it and operating under the guise of open source is... warped in my pov.
I don't begrudge him making phat loot. But if that's the goal open source is not the right avenue imo.
Let the flame war begin but I don't see the point in open sourcing code if you don't want people to use it however they want.
YMMV and probably does.
I think the motivation to not have your open source code used in a closed source product that is sold for profit should be obvious.
I'm not sure how the "derived works" clause applies to node.js projects using this project.
You can implement single-image clustering on top of the Linux kernel all you want, and keep your changes - so long as you don't distribute the software. If you do, you must distribute under the gpl.
Copyleft is a promise to he end-users that - no matter the circumstances - they won't be stuck with whatever they were served, but would be able to maintain or hire someone to maintain. It's not only freedom to adapt and modify the code, but also - when a project is a library - a freedom to not be stuck with ancient bug-ridden insecure builds if there are newer versions.
So if you ask "why copyleft?" think how much abandonware with statically linked libraries (e.g. ancient OpenSSL) you've seen.
This concept of a social contract misrepresents both the letter and the spirit of open source, including copyleft, and gives people who don't know any better the impression that using open source would obligate to do something beyond just complying with the license (even if it's presented as a matter of etiquette rather than an actual legal obligation).
If anyone's out there writing open source code because they anticipate getting anything in return from anybody, ever, for their efforts, they have misunderstood the spirit of the thing and will most likely be disappointed.
Eh? The GPL is a copyleft license that was made to do just this, both in letter and in spirit. "Getting code back" is its explicit purpose.
> If anyone's out there writing open source code because they anticipate getting anything in return from anybody, ever, for their efforts, they have misunderstood the spirit of the thing and will most likely be disappointed.
Open Source and Free Software are similar but different, and you're conflating the two. Redhat is the canonical example of someone who writes FOSS because they anticipate getting stuff for it. Atlassian also writes specifically open-source stuff; you can inspect it, but you can't use it without paying a license.
And I think you're semantically wrong anyway - if you're writing free software because you're community-minded, then it's not unreasonable to expect some engagement from the community, especially for a popular project. No-one is legally obligated to help you, but at the same time, for so many to use your stuff and so few to kick a little back over so many years is something that a reasonable person could be a bit sour on.
Yes it is. Just because you are 'community-minded' doesn't mean you get that - there is no expectation there unless explicitly warranted.
Principally, the food is a scarce resource whereas the equivalent to software would be where the community were competing amongst themselves to make a single great sausage; that sausage would be placed on a table by the kerb and people outside would be able to take away as many molecularly identical copies of the sausage as they provided energy to create. The community can socialise amongst themselves and you are free to join in but there is no requirement to do so.
To continue with the (now tortured) bbq analogy: as the sausages go cold (=software ages), someone has to cook up more fresh ones.
I think a great idea was just born! #sausagecoldwar
This poor characterisation of me has nothing to do with the topic, and is just abuse.
There is an expectation at a BBQ, though this differs culturally. There is not such an expectation for FOSS projects, unless explicitlty stated somewhere.
If you want to compare the two; tell me why BBQs are generally not open to anyone, whereas there are few restrictions on FOSS contributors? What are the consumables in a BBQ (food) versus a FOSS project (developer time), and who contributes these in each case?
> tell me why BBQs are generally not open to anyone
Hence why I specified "local community", not "someone's friend's backyard".
In any case, you're missing the point of the analogy, and extend any analogy and it will fall apart. You're missing the human aspect of FOSS, instead interpreting it as a literal legal case.
And yes, there is expectation in FOSS that others will pitch in and help when your project is extremely popular. ESR, coiner of the 'open source' term we're talking about, explicitly promoted it with the term 'enough eyeballs make all bugs shallow'. How is that not seen as an expectation of kicking back at least some effort?
ESRs quote praises the OS virtue of allowing source code to be read, it doesn't imply an obligation on all users of FOSS, legal, moral, or otherwise.