I'm working on a browser based open source monitoring project that I want to be free to the community.

What I'm worried about is someone taking the project, renaming it, deploying it in the cloud and start charging people who don't even know my project exists. I know I maybe shouldn't mind, but it just sticks in my throat a bit if someone took a free ride like that and contributed nothing back.

Is there any common open source license that can prevent this. I know GPL or AGPL don't.

  • 3
    Hm, I don't think it's possible or even a good idea. Yes, people might build on your project and charge for it, but they would essentially charge for the extra services they would provide (cloud hosting & maintenance), not really for your project. In any case, you could opt for a free, but non open source, licence (or some dual licensing schema).
    – yannis
    Nov 19, 2012 at 2:50
  • A non-commercial clause license might work?
    – rwong
    Nov 19, 2012 at 2:56

3 Answers 3


The Affero GPL is an extention/alternative GPL that forbids the "service loophole" where it is perfectly OK to use GPL code behind some network service without acknowledging it since you never distribute the code to the users, only the results.

  • Affero GPL does not prevent the use of the code as a service but it does require that the web interface include a link to download the code running the site. It should also be noted that AGPL does not require a link to the original project.
    – Craig
    Nov 19, 2012 at 17:23
  • @craig - yes, in a sense it re-GPLs it Nov 19, 2012 at 17:27

Creative Commons have a few licences you can choose from, plus a small tool to help you choose.


A) you can't stop anyone from making money using open source content.

B) you can force people to contribute back if they use or modify your code. AGPL license will serve this purpose even if your code is used in a cloud.

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