Take the 2-minute tour ×
Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free.

Is there a license that:

  • Allows the client to make in-house changes to the tool/source code if need be.
  • Prohibits to redistribute the source code outside the company.
  • Prohibits to sell derivative work or services.

Basically prohibits anything, but to make customizations for personal use-case.

share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by gnat, MichaelT, GlenH7, jwenting, Dynamic Jun 24 '14 at 14:24

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions asking us to recommend a tool, library or favorite off-site resource are off-topic for Programmers as they tend to attract opinionated answers and spam. Instead, describe the problem and what has been done so far to solve it." – gnat, MichaelT, GlenH7, jwenting, Dynamic
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

The question could be improved by recraftint it to describe the problem you are looking to solve (and what you are looking for) rather than just a "does XYZ exist?" type question. –  MichaelT Oct 19 '12 at 14:42

4 Answers 4

Most open source license don't fall into this. However, you can craft the licence pretty much just as you wrote it here.

You need to make sure the following:

  1. Code has a copy right under the name of you or your company.

  2. Unlike a general license like GPL which permits "everyone" - you need to specify specific use of license to "someone" and hence this someone needs to be defined. Usually such will be similar to paper licenses that most shrinkwrap softwares provide.

  3. Include claims/disclaims of merchantability, liability, and warranty, and intellectual property ownership apart from the clause. These are part of general EULA of most softwares.

DISCLAIMER: Since, this seems to be a commercial venture I suggest you draft this through a lawyer.

share|improve this answer

There are several companies that provide the source to their products under the provision that it is for use/modification only by the licensee. Usually it is a custom license/terms of service.

share|improve this answer

Here's a resource. Choose a licence Unfortunately, this seems geared to open source. (opinion time: which is great for some things not the golden hammer of all software distribution as some here may suggest).

From looking at this page have you tried the licening option of "no licence". You retain the rights you need for points 2 and 3. Point 1 may be allowed, or may have to be explicitly allowed, it's unclear. Generally the best tool for this is a "contract" (search "template software contract", there are a ton of them), since by clients you clearly don't mean everyone.

share|improve this answer

Apparently, you don't believe much in, "Human knowledge belongs to the World" which is why stackExchange existing.

But, as far as I know, Creative Commons license may fulfill your need. Basic parts of a CC license, which can be enacted individually or in combination, are:

  • Attribution : The author must be attributed as the creator of the work. Beyond that, the work can be modified, distributed, copied and otherwise used.
  • Non-Commercial : The work can be modified, distributed and so on, but not for commercial purposes."Non-Commercial" simply means you can't sell.
  • No-Derivative :This means you can copy and distribute the licensed work, but you can’t modify it in any way or create work based on the original.

You can find out more about CC license here

However, there are lot more Open-source licenses (less liberal than GPL) you might wanna check out. Here is the list by category

share|improve this answer
CC's FAQ discourages use of CC for software - wiki.creativecommons.org/…. The more important distinction is what we mean by "Commercial" - re-selling for commercial purpose (with or without modification) is of course commercial usage - but even "in house" use for the over all intent of companies business is also "commercial". CC is usually meant to be more of a public licence (like GPL for open source) rather than a private party license. –  Dipan Mehta Oct 19 '12 at 6:56
I'm not much of a believer, nor do I buy into socialist ideas, but evidence suggests that I will starve to death If I won't make at least SOME money off my work. –  JBeurer Oct 19 '12 at 8:26
Pardon me as I couldn't provide appropriate answer(as pointed-out by Dipan Mehta) Its 4hrs now, I believe you must have made decision over which private party license to use. Suggestion: you should write about what you choose and how it would be beneficial over others. [it'll help some other guy some other time] –  kern Oct 19 '12 at 8:54
He isn't selling knowledge, he is selling a product and the time he put into it. –  patricksweeney Oct 19 '12 at 14:16
-1 for the unnecessary attack on the OP's character. –  MichaelT Oct 19 '12 at 14:23

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.