> From these thousands of businesses and millions of downloads, a very small group (less than 0,5%) decides to enter into business relations with CKSource.
CKEditor (a rich-text editor) is this kind of really complex piece of software which requires years of experience and years of development. It's also a piece of software which is complex enough to scare people from contributing to it. So people use it for free and report bugs to you. That's all. With that conversion rate about 0.5% and a rather niche market, it's possible to slowly grow your business (as we did – CKSource is 40+ people today), but hard to keep up with the world.
Just to give a context – CKEditor 5 (which was written completely from scratch) required 5+ experienced developers working for more than 4 years right now. Therefore, for CKEditor 5 we chose GPL2+. We hope to have a more healthy paying/free users ratio. The future will show us if that's a good direction
BTW, you say that:
> commercial licenses can be a serious pain to navigate in many companies
From my experience, it's actually the opposite. Companies like our commercial license because it's easier for them than going with e.g. LGPL or MPL and hoping they won't violate it.
But as you have yourself pointed out, it is (or at least may be) possible to make money as a commercial entity whilst still using a FOSS license, without entering the netherworld of “what is commercial use” arguments that these bespoke licenses create.
P.S. I know CKEditor very well, having used its predecessor FCKEditor on a small website for a local charity over 15 years ago! So thank you for continuing to support FOSS :)
Personally, I'd rather get an open source commercial product that I can read the source and contribute back to (which means yes, I would be giving those contributions back for free, that's part of the deal), than having to deal with having either no source code, or code and consultants, which is also fraught with challenges.
It is scary you can't fork a commercial OSS project, but if the company dies they usually make the software free.