Thanks to my time at Microsoft Research (1994-2002), I was able to live for a while (modestly) on asset growth. Last year I started working in earnest on two libraries, Reactive (functional reactive programming) and FieldTrip (functional 3D), plus some supporting libraries. I placed these libraries all under the most liberal license I know, which is BSD3. I’m more enthusiastic than ever about my functional programming work and am enjoying active involvement with the Haskell community.
With the recent economic meltdown, my old means of sustainable income ended, and now I’m looking for a replacement. I’m not yet in crisis, so I have time to make some thoughtful decisions and even take some risk. Rather than abandoning Reactive, FieldTrip, and related projects (some new), I’m looking for ways to continue these projects while building potential for future income related to them. At the same time, it’s very important to me to keep these projects open so as to advance purely functional techniques & tools, as well as to have enjoyable creative connections, and to get feedback & help.
For these reasons, I’m now considering licensing future releases of some my libraries for non-commercial use, with commercial uses to be arranged as separate licenses. I know almost nothing about licensing issues, because I haven’t been interested, and I’ve always wanted maximum freedom for all users.
So, I’m looking for help in choosing a software license that enables & encourages a creative community, while preserving opportunity to ask for some portion of return in future for-profit uses. If people have alternative perspectives how to achieve my goals without changing license terms, I’m interested in hearing them as well. I am not trying to “make a killing”, just a living, so that I can keep doing what I love and share it with others.