I post preferabily in this forum dedicated to Moodle Partners as being the seed of Professional activity around Moodle.
As leading contributor for years, providing and maintaining more than 63 plugins and additional subsystems to Moodle, i come to a point that sustainability of all this functional value gets really hard to do, specially when having to find also alimentary work requests.
I feel quite upset not being able to track as reactively i would like all the inputs and community requests and signalling that income to me through the publication locations in Moodle.org contribs and other means.
I started with this policy that everything that was asked to me to develop, adapt, upgrade or integrate should possibly serve the community users, other moodle owners that could have to face those demands, rather than keeping all that code private and just dedicated to my direct customers.
By the way, as being an independant unipersonal enterprise, there was till now no justification to get a Moodle Partner status, as not complying with all service ranges (at least not "industrially" coping with), and not willing having (in our "hard to business" french context) an aggressive expansion or development strategy.
The question is to think about a model of publishing that would clearly dissociate the "end moodle owner use" of some valuable publications, that i would like to preserve as easy and free as possible, from the "paied for" professional reuse of those contribs, for which some back funding mehod, even symbolic or low rated, could help assigning time to maintin all this amount of code in all versions. I guess this is NOT a dumb question for any of us that spend a big effort on coding and packaging.
I was seeking around the Creative Common license, and was wondering if a CC of type BY-NC-SA could be mentionnend in addition of the Moodle global Licence terms on those plugins, to mention this particular status of this contributed code.
In other terms, the exposed combined licencing would say : Contribs are published on Moodle.org for any end administrator to integrate for free "as is" and use for himself and the own use of his end-user institution or learning program and for functional effect on it. Other use in retributed projects should think in complying with some code supporting model that calculates an access fee for use.
This is actually NOT a way to turn Moodle contributions into a commercial model, but getting some kind of "would be nice to do so" shareware oriented possibility to enlarge life cycle range for some code that is usefull.
The "proposed fee" calculation should actually depend on the code amount, and already spent effort upon the plugin, Of course, this needs to be weighted down if f.e. part of the effort was initially funded on retributed projects... The purpose is to find a model in which a proportional supporting revenue could be proposed as being legitimate (not mandatory nor sytematic or real), and let keep features in side the moodle open source and easy to tweak and adapt model. I have some hypothesis on the calculation but yet too fuzzy to be exposed here....
Tanks to feedback !
just to clarify - even though we generally encourage folks to publish their contributed plugins under GPLv3, you are allowed to publish your work in the Plugins directory under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA or other license. Especially if you believe it's the best thing for your project. As this CC license is not compatible with the GNU GPL, it would have to be explicitly highlighted in the plugin description (and the README file) so that users are aware of it and can decide themselves.
Well, technically, only the files implementing the necessary interface between the core and the plugin (such as version.php, db/ files) are derivatives. All the plugin logic can be implemented in a stand alone library that uses different license (and it's happening). But I was wrong in saying that non-compatible license is ok. All the files in the plugin must be compatible with GPL (I guess). And that is what we check during the acceptance reviews.