Yesterday at the call we briefly discussed the possibility of implementing the open-core model for Yukon to ensure financial sustainability of the project. There was a related suggestion to consider a dual-license model widely used in some other software products like Qt or iText. Open-core and dual-licensing are not mutually exclusive. Here I want to check if the latter is a viable option for us.
I ventured to ask if there are any established licensing practices such that the software is entirely free to use by individuals but for-profit organizations are incentivized to contribute:
…whereby I was politely informed that the question has already been asked before. Generally, dual-licensing is recommended in such cases instead of drafting up one’s very own license with cleverly engineered built-in restrictions. The default license (the free license) is generally chosen to be highly restrictive, the recommended options are:
Affero GPL [tl;dr]. This option does not prevent commercial use but makes it sufficiently difficult for a company to make the secondary (non-free) license a desirable choice.
CC BY-NC-SA (Attribution + Noncommercial + ShareAlike) [tldr]. As the name suggests, commercial use is directly prohibited. This license is generally not recommended for software but I am not sure if this is a problem in our specific case.
The long list of well-known licenses on the OSI website does not reveal anything that seems more suitable.
The big question here is this: are we going to shoot ourselves in the foot by using a strong copyleft license as the default license for Yukon? If yes, does it mean that the dual-licensing is not suitable for Yukon?