OpenPoker: Business question

ke.han <>
Fri Aug 26 19:55:41 CEST 2005

There are a couple of routes you can take.
Here are some suggestions:

1 - BSD wrappered with terms under with the license stays valid.
The wrapper says that the license applies so long as the licensee either
stays non-commercial or is paying license fees; revoked under any other

2 - Dual license
You can choose to license under open source form which stay valid as
long as the licensee stays non-commercial.  The licensee must switch to
a closed license when licensee becomes commercial.
This is similar to what MySQL does.  I'm sure the MySQL lawyers have
been over their licenses very thoroughly; you may want to study them.

I am guessing that anyone starting with non-commercial usage but has
aims to become commercial will not want to share their code changes even
when they are still non-commercial to protect their future investment. 
This is why I think the first choice may be the simplest.

I don't know much about the online poker, but I have friends who are
heavily involved.  I could put you in touch if you wish. My guess is
their perspective is that anyone that has the funds to invest heavily in
a commercial poker site will simply license from one of the many known
vendors and not give your product a second look.  So you will be
competing on price to enable startups with less funds to use your product.

good luck, ke han

Joel Reymont wrote:

> Folks,
> I'm not sure this list is the best venue for my question but I don't 
> know of any other so bear with me...
> I'm thinking of open sourcing my Erlang poker backend (OpenPoker). 
> The previous version of OpenPoker, written in Delphi is at http://
> My strategy is to let people use the code 
> for non-commercial purposes only and pay me as soon as they want to 
> go commercial.
> The issue at hand is the definition of commercial as it's very 
> particular in the poker world. Normally, you go commercial when you 
> try to sell the software. In the poker world, on the other hand, 
> commercial is when you make money from the poker software by taking 
> in deposits, etc. or charging for use of the poker room.
> Judging from my experience with the previous version of OpenPoker I 
> would not make any money if I release the software under the GPL. Is 
> there another open source license that you would recommend that would 
> let me restrict the source code to non-commercial use only?
> Is there any software already released with such restrictions or 
> would the non-commercial use restrictions go against the grain of 
> open source?
>     Thanks, Joel
> -- 

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