Is there a License that permits only the company that published the code to earn money using it, by selling products or services that include that code?.

The license should let in addition the ability for everybody to change the code and use it as they see fit, and be copyleft.

  • By publish, do you mean publish and not write? Copyright goes to the author, not the publisher.
    – user6726
    Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 16:27
  • 1
    The "use it as they see fit" ability seems to contradict the commercial requirement around selling products and services.
    – Matthew
    Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 16:34
  • Thanks @user6726 "Copyright goes to the author, not the publisher" that's good to know, both are fine in my case
    – Guy Luz
    Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 17:07
  • @Matthew I searching for license that as long as they do not violate the first law they can do what they want like use it, Fork and change it.
    – Guy Luz
    Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 17:11

1 Answer 1


CC BY-NC generally meets that requirement. It requires attribution and prohibits commercial use by licensees, but otherwise allows most uses. As with most licenses, use of the work by the copyright holder (by default, the author) is not restricted.

It does not entirely prohibit any use that makes money, but it prohibits uses that are "primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or monetary compensation."

Creative Commons has an FAQ that discusses what is meant by "commercial use."

Also note that to allow this, the project could not, for example, accept contributions via GitHub or other means that are licensed under CC BY-NC, as that would mean that the project owner no longer has the right to license the work outside those terms. For this, you would need to devise a contributor license agreement granting those rights and get contributors to sign it.

  • Is CC BY-NC applicable to code? I thought CC explicitly states that their licenses do not apply to software.
    – carrvo
    Commented Jun 3, 2022 at 0:47

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