The Commons Clause.

“Commons Clause” License Condition v1.0

The Software is provided to you by the Licensor under the License, as defined below, subject to the following condition.

Without limiting other conditions in the License, the grant of rights under the License will not include, and the License does not grant to you, the right to Sell the Software.

For purposes of the foregoing, “Sell” means practicing any or all of the rights granted to you under the License to provide to third parties, for a fee or other consideration (including without limitation fees for hosting or consulting/ support services related to the Software), a product or service whose value derives, entirely or substantially, from the functionality of the Software. Any license notice or attribution required by the License must also include this Commons Cause License Condition notice.

Software: [name software]
License: [i.e. Apache 2.0]
Licensor: [ABC company]

Commons Clause

Commons Clause”许可证 v1.0



就上述而言,“出售”是指根据许可证授予您的任何或所有权利,以便向第三方提供费用或其他报酬(包括但不限于托管或咨询/支持软件服务的费用),一种产品或服务,其价值完全或基本上来自软件的功能。许可证要求的任何许可声明或归属也必须包含此Commons Cause License Condition声明。

许可证:[例如 Apache 2.0]


What is Commons Clause?

The Commons Clause is a license condition drafted by Heather Meeker that applies a narrow, minimal-form commercial restriction on top of an existing open source license to transition the project to a source-availability licensing scheme. The combined text replaces the existing license, allowing all permissions of the original license to remain except the ability to "Sell" the software as defined in the text.

This Clause is not intended to be replace licenses of existing open source projects in general, but to be used by specific projects to satisfy urgent business or legal requirements without resorting to fully "closing source".


什么是Commons Clause?

Commons Clause是由Heather Meeker起草的许可条款,它在现有的开源许可证之上应用狭义的、最小形式的商业限制,以将项目转换为可获取源码的许可方案。组合文本替代了现有许可证,确保原始许可证的所有权限保留,除了协议中所定义的“销售”软件的能力。


It this “Open Source”?


“Open source”, has a specific definition that was written years ago and is by the Open Source Initiative, which approves Open Source licenses. Applying the Commons Clause to an open source project will mean the source code is available, and meets many of the elements of the Open Source Definition, such as free access to source code, freedom to modify, and freedom to re-distribute, but not all of them. So to avoid confusion, it is best not to call Commons Clause software “open source.”



“开源”,拥有多年前编写的特定定义,并且由赞同开源许可的开源组织推动的。将Commons Clause应用于开源项目将意味着源代码可获取,并且符合开源定义的许多元素,例如免费访问源代码、修改和重新分发的自由,但不是他们中的全部。因此,为避免混淆,最好不要将Commons Clause软件称为“开源”的。

If I change from an open source license to Commons Clause, how does this affect my project?

When the Commons Clause is applied to a project, it only affects code moving forward -- meaning no existing users are immediately affected. Licenses applied to previous versions are not revoked, so the Clause will only apply to future releases.

If you choose to adopt the Commons Clause, you should understand the implications any license change will have on your community and weigh that against the threat of allowing others to trade on your work developing your open source project.

The Commons Clause was intended, in practice, to have virtually no effect other than force a negotiation with those who take predatory commercial advantage of open source development. In practice, those are some of the biggest technology businesses in the world, some of whom use open source software but don’t give back to the community. Freedom for others to commercialize your software comes with starting an open source project, and while it's important to uphold, growth and commercial pressures will inevitably force some projects to close. The Commons Clause provides an alternative.

The Commons Clause was not designed to restrict code sharing or development, but preserves the rights of developers to benefit from commercial use of their work. However, those that adopt the Clause should understand the broader implications of making a license change and commitments to source availability.

如果我将开源许可证改成Commons Clause,对我的项目会有什么影响呢?

当项目使用Commons Clouse,它只影响代码的将来——这意味着不会立即影响现有的用户。过去版本使用的许可证不会被撤销,因此该Clouse只会应用在将来的版本。

如果你选择采用Commons Clause,你应该明白任何许可证的改变将对你的社区产生影响,并权衡允许其他人在开发您的开源项目时进行交易的威胁。

事实上,Commons Clause的目的除了在于强制与那些利用开源开发的掠夺性商业优势的人谈判之外,并无实质性作用。实际上,世界上最大的那些技术企业,使用的那些开源软件并没有回馈社会。对于其他人来说,以一个开源项目为起点,商业化你的软件是自由的,然而维持它很重要,因为增长和商业化压力将不可避免地强制关闭一些项目。Commons Clause提供了另一种选择。

Commons Clause的设计不是为了限制代码共享或开发,而是为了保护开发者从其工作的商业使用中获益的权利。然而,那些采用该Clouse的人应该明白,更改许可证的更广泛含义以及对资源可用性的承诺。

Why not just use AGPL?

AGPL simply doesn't work to solve this problem. It is not a widely adopted license, and its “network” clause is not clearly written, so companies are not willing to stake its entire development resources on using AGPL to prevent free riding.

AGPL doesn't go far enough to preserve the rights of developers. If cloud-based software is licensed under AGPL, often, much of the value for improvements to the cloud-based software arguably falls outside of the “Program” thereby nullifying many of the benefits of mandating enforcing source code offers. Hosting, management, and other elements are often just as important as the core code.

In addition, the ambiguity of what is covered by AGPL’s network clause (“interacting ..remotely through a computer network”) means that many potential users are more confused and cautious about using AGPL code than a source-available license. Like the group behind Commons Clause, the drafters of AGPL were concerned about the “cloud loophole” in licenses like GPL. Unfortunately, AGPL’s network clause was a compromise; one camp in the GPL3 drafting process wanted to introduce a network clause into GPL3, and many more than wanted to preserve the “distribution trigger”. So the network clause was never popular, and even after 10 years, AGPL has not been broadly accepted, particularly in business. Most companies still won’t use AGPL code at all. So it is not a useful open source solution for emerging companies.




此外,AGPL的网络条款(通过远程电脑网络交互)涵盖的内容模糊不清,这意味着许多潜在用户在使用AGPL代码时比使用源码许可更加困惑和谨慎。就像Commons Clause背后的小组一样,AGPL的起草者们担心许可证中存在类似GPL的云漏洞。不幸的是,AGPL的网络条款是一种妥协;GPL3起草过程中,一个阵营希望在GPL3中引入网络条款,而更多的人想保留“分发触发器”。因此,网络条款从未流行过,甚至在10年后,AGPL也没有被广泛地接受,尤其在商业上。大多数公司仍然完全不愿使用AGPL代码。因此,对于新兴公司来说,它不是一个有用的开源解决方案。

The open source community says this is a bad idea. I love open source software. Should I refuse to use Commons Clause software?

Some people believe that all software must be open source, and they will never condone anything else. But in reality, there are lots of models for licensing software. Commons Clause is just one alternative.

But the important thing is that the developers who have chosen Commons Clause have been faced with the choice of doing something new or allowing their businesses to fail. And the other possibility -- the completely proprietary, closed source model of companies like Oracle and Adobe -- is always a possibility. So if anyone tries to convince you that Commons Clause is wrong because it doesn't meet all the requirements of the Open Source Definition, you should ask them if proprietary is better -- or no software at all.

You probably use plenty of software that is “freeware” -- under free of charge proprietary licenses (JRE, Acrobat). If you refuse to use Commons Clause, you should refuse to use those, too. Those licenses give you less rights.

开源社区说这是个坏主意。我喜欢开源软件。我应该拒绝使用Commons Clause软件吗?

有些人认为所有的软件都必须是开源的,他们永远不会宽恕不开源的软件。然而实际上,软件授权模式有很多很多。Commons Clause就是其中的一种选择。

但重要的是,选择了Commons Clause条款的开发者,将面临是做一些新的事情还是允许他们的业务失败的选择。而另一方面——甲骨文(Oracle)和奥多比(Adobe)等公司的完全专有的、封闭的源代码模型——始终是一种可能性。因此,如果有人试图让你相信Commons Clause是错误的,就因为它不能满足开源定义的所有要求,那么你应该问他们大型软件公司所制定的软件专有条款是否更合适——或者干脆质问他们是不是根本没有软件可用会不会更好。

您可能使用了大量的“免费软件”——比如下在免费的专有许可下使用的JRE还有Acrobat。如果你拒绝承认Commons Clause,你也应该拒绝使用那些。这些许可证给你的权利更少。

Why did you use open source licenses as the basis for Commons Clause?

We didn’t have to, we could have just written a new, proprietary license. But people understand the popular open source licenses, and we wanted to be clear that we were allowing everything those licenses allow, except for one kind of use.

For maintainers, this portability was a specific design constraint to support the legacy schemes they were transitioning from.

为何使用开源许可证作为Commons Clause的基础?



Why not just use Creative Commons non-commercial (sharealike)?

CC-NC is a similar idea, but CC licenses are not software licenses. Also, there is a lot of confusion about what is a “commercial” use, and we only wanted to restrict one narrow kind of commercial use.

CC-NC is actually much more restrictive than Commons Clause.

为什么不使用Creative Commons非商业许可(sharealike)?

CC-NC是一个类似的想法,但CC许可证不是软件许可证。 关于什么是“商业”用途存在很多混淆,我们只想限制一种狭隘的商业用途。

CC-NC实际上比Commons Clause更具限制性。

What will this do to Open Source?

Open source is here to stay. But open source works better for some kinds of software than others. The Open Source Definition and the development model it represents is an immensely important set of ideals that have carried many projects to success. But most of those projects were basic infrastructure projects, as opposed to advanced applications. And very few true open source businesses have flourished.

Open Source projects are not free of cost, they often support billions of dollars of revenue and can require tens of millions of dollars in financing to stay afloat. That can work -- with a lot of effort -- for software that everyone uses, like operating systems. Also, lots of companies are successful using open source -- when they are selling something else, like hardware or services. But many software companies can’t keep the doors open with an open source licensing model.

The Commons Clause was drafted by a group of developers behind many of the world’s most popular open source projects who feel a lot of pain and pressure from a rapidly-developing business ecosystem and the realities of the cost of developing projects. It wasn’t created to end open source, but start a conversation on what we can do to meet the financial needs of commercial software projects and the communities behind them.




Commons Clause许可证由许多世界上最受欢迎的开源项目背后的开发人员起草,他们感受到来自快速发展的商业生态系统的巨大痛苦和压力以及开发项目成本的现实。它不是为了结束开源而创建的,而是就我们可以做些什么来开展对话,以满足商业软件项目及其背后的社区的财务需求。