Nano Express team confused about the GPL license?

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t3g
t3g
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Joined: 05/15/2011

Nano Express at https://nanoexpress.js.org/license is a Node based framework that has a simple version (Apache 2.0) and a Pro version under the GPL v3. They state this in their reasoning for the "pro" version:

"If you application source was closed, you can get access via becoming Sponsor Middle patron or higher, else may be License violating to your application. I see clones and downloads statistics via npm and github"

Is it me or do they not know what a GPL license is? If you are using a framework to write your code, it doesn't make the entire code GPL right? On top of that, this is GPL and not AGPL meaning that even if this is a "violation" it doesn't mean you have to share the code since that is what the AGPL is supposed to do. Even if this was AGPL, wouldn't it fall under the same guidelines that this is just a framework co-existing with your code?

Magic Banana

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Joined: 07/24/2010

It may mean: "if you want to distribute a proprietary derivative (the GPL prohibits it), become a "Sponsor Middle patron or higher" and we will give you another license that allows it".

I have no idea what use of nanoexpress would qualify as a derivative work (because I do not know nanoexpress).

nadebula.1984
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Joined: 05/01/2018

Maybe this is called "selling exception", as described in one of RMS's articles (entitled something like "selling exception").

Selling exception is different from dual-licensing, where (re)distributors may choose a license as they wish. The software is still GPL-licensed.

It's is also better than exclusively distributing your software as proprietary software. Even someone may purchase a permission (or something like "becoming Sponsor Middle patron or higher") to use it under a non-free license, the software itself is still free software.