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Many of the custom projects I take include things that could be useful to the open source community. I'd like them to open Github repos with them :)

Most of them are jQuery plugins. I'm almost always ending up creating my own jQuery plugins for features I need to implement in the project, for example autocomplete, edit-in-place functionality etc.

Would it be a good idea to offer a "discount" for people that accept to let me open-source part of the project? Like -15%, -25% etc?

Do you think it would be unprofessional to ask them this?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

This very much depends on what you contract with your customer states, but I think you may be thinking of it the wrong way around.

Instead of thinking what discount should I give, think how much can I charge for support on an open source license that I have licensed then to use on their application.

Pick an appropriate license for your open source release and look into dual licensing, then write it into your future contracts that some of the functionality will be provided through an open source license which you are licensing them to use on a commercial basis in that project.

For more information, have a look at my answer to the question Preparing to release code as open-source.

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