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What Will You Allow to Be Done with Your Code?

This is the very question that initiated the idea of free and open source software, and is a necessary second step. Do you want to allow anyone to use the code for any purpose, even if it ends up being included in proprietary software products and enhanced with code that is not available to be viewed or shared? Do you want to ensure that all released code will always be open and available to anyone who wants it, including any code contributed by others or that was added to the code base by someone else and then distributed without your participation?

In the future, do you want to release a product that is based on your open source code but with proprietary improvements? Some well-known companies do this. Their open source product is useful and respected, but they also release a fee-based version with extra features. You need to consider this before choosing a license, as not all licenses allow you to do this. On the other hand, some people adamantly oppose such activity and want to ensure this may never be done with their code. You can choose a license that enshrines this value as well.

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