Help me create a new kind of license?

Hi everyone,

I hope this is the right place to ask this.

I’m writing a new programming language that I wish to open-source, as one does, and it seems like there is no license out there that answers my needs.

I want the use of my language, including all the tooling, to be free for use by anyone, even in commercial products (MIT-ish). But if a commercial entity wants to expose the language itself as an interface to their clients, they’ll have to buy a license from me.

Because it’s unorthodox, I’ll try to give a short explanation of my reasoning. It’s a database language, and if it gains traction and becomes somewhat of a standard, all sorts of service providers might want to include it in their product, as an interface for their users. So, I’m trying to capture some that long-run value, while being relatively nonrestrictive (being too restrictive might significantly hinder adoption).

So, I’m wondering if perhaps the prosperity license could be altered to support something like, and if so, how would I go about it? And if not, can you recommend someone who might be able to help me with this?

Also, I’m open to general suggestions and opinions. Let me know if you think I’m misguided, I can take it.

Thanks for reading!

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This is not within scope of any current Artless Devices projects. But I’d encourage you to have a look at the Normally Open license template.

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I’m also designing a new programming language (similar to the above, but more Prolog-like). I am interested in open sourcing it, but would also like to restrict in some way.

Initially I thought MIT with a request for donations if you are using it commercially, but StrictEQ/L0 intrigue me. I do think there needs to be some modification for programming languages, as we want to encourage adoption as much as possible, and adoption by companies is generally good for growth.

Interested in any thoughts.

Hi, Caden. Glad to have you.

You have to think about what you’re going to charge for, and who is going to pay for it.

I’d say once it hits that threshold where using it as an interface is desired, it would have already reached a point where its popularity would be bringing in revenue from other means. Such as training and consultancy.

This may be a disincentive for the consumer, inhibiting your ability to reach the target of being standard, where such an interfaced use case would become appealing.

You may be better off instead making some paid training materials (or better yet, offering a consulting package to develop specialised training materials) and then licensing it to the companies that use your language as an interface, as that way, the more trained their consumers of their api are, the more successful their product is too.

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