I'm sorry if the title isn't clear, I have no idea about licences...

The thing is that I have created a little app for android targeted at developers. I want to get paid for the app, but I also want to share the code so others can modify it to improve it or to suit their needs.

I think this is somewhat close to minecraft way (sell and expect that everybody pays, but have no problem with people modifing the source, build mods, etc) and is pretty close to http://livereload.com/ way of distributing and licensing.

Maybe I should sell the app and give access to a private repo from the app itself (so, once you bought it, you get access to the source). Am I right? is this my best option?


1 Answer 1


You could do it that way, or simply distribute the source with the app, with a notice at the top of each source file that this is proprietary source code that is not to be redistributed. There are plenty of good libraries that do that. We use several of them where I work. (We have a policy not to use any library that we can't get the source to.)

  • What you say is great for libraries, for example telerik includes souce code depending of how much do you paid (or at least the used to do it). But this is a different animal, being a mobile app, I can't distribute the code together with the app. I guess I should go full open source or full closed source... but not in between Commented Jun 13, 2012 at 14:15
  • @NicoGranelli There are in between: You can grant use or even modification with some restrictions (personal use, non-commercial use, etc.), etc. So a user can fork you and compile but not redistribute it.
    – ESL
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 3:06

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