License Zero

gainful software in the open

License Zero is a new way to support open software developers.

Contributors can choose from two new licenses, Parity and Prosperity, that make their work free for not-for-profit or open-source users, then sell private licenses to other devs who want to use for profit or in closed source. Everything happens through a simple, dev-friendly interface.

An explainer graphic with a row for Parity and for Prosperity, with open and locked doors for for-profit user, open source, and closed source

licensezero.com works like a vending machine. Developers stock licensezero.com with licenses for for-profit and closed-source work. licensezero.com sells those licenses to users on developers’ behalf, and sends the proceeds directly to developers’ Stripe accounts.

The licensezero command makes it easy for everyone.

Download the licensezero command or install on the command line:

curl -sL https://licensezero.com/install.sh | sh

Users

You can automatically identify, price, and buy all the licenses you need for your project:

# Set up for Larry, a developer in California.
# You only need to do this once.
licensezero identify --name "Larry Licensor" \
  --jurisdiction US-CA --email larry@example.com

# List License Zero dependencies and the cost of
# all missing licenses.
cd a-software-project
licensezero quote

# Open an order page for all needed licenses.
licensezero buy

# Import a bundle with all licenses purchased.
licensezero import --bundle $ORDER_BUNDLE_URL

# Check that there are no more missing licenses.
licensezero quote

Users can also buy specific licenses on licensezero.com.

Developers

Offering licenses through License Zero is quick and easy:

# Set up for Anna, a developer in Texas.
# You only need to do this once.
licensezero identify --name "Anna Maintainer" \
  --jurisdiction US-TX --email anna@example.com

# Open a page to connect a Stripe account to receive payments
# and receive an access token.
licensezero register

# Save the access token for use sending commands.
licensezero token --licensor $ANNAS_NEW_LICENSOR_ID

# Offer private licenses through licensezero.com at $5 US.
licensezero offer --price 500 --relicense 500000 \
  --homepage http://example.com --description "an example project"

# Write Prosperity to LICENSE and metadata to `licensezero.json`.
cd a-software-package
licensezero license --id -$ANNAS_NEW_ID --prosperity 

# Commit and push the changes.
git add LICENSE licensezero.json
git commit -m "License Zero"
git push