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pho4cexa wrote

That's basically how AGPL dual-licensing schemes work:

Developers know that companies have been conditioned to be pants-shitting terrified of the AGPL, but they want to be open source, but they still want to get paid. So, they release under AGPL, but offer to sell to companies willing to pay for a permissive do-whatever-you-want license.

These projects usually say that they require a particular type of contributor license agreement (CLA) in which everybody offering a patch must sign over copyright or permission to re-license it.

I used to feel like this kind of scheme was an egregious and underhanded betrayal by developers, but calmed down when I realized it's almost equivalent to -- and slightly better than -- basic permissive licensing. Except that it might not be obvious what's going on.

(I still dislike permissive licensing far more than the FSF seems to, but it's still free software, and still far better than proprietary, and most permissively-licensed code can be absorbed into a copylefted project by sufficiently motivated and productive developers.)

This is also why there's been a recent push from the FSF and Software Freedom Conservancy to try to get developers to ask their employers to let them retain their copyright over their work (instead of assigning it to the company, as is the default in a work-for-hire situation). Because

  • the company probably will never damage its reputation by enforcing the GPL against another company, but an individual might be more principled and
  • the more copyright holders there are, the more people must grant permission when somebody wants to weaken the license for money.

If the devs (who are often not poor i'll point out) sell out

Depends. Devs who work full time for a software company then struggle to carve time out of their family and weekends to do a tiny bit of free software might indeed not be poor, but i hope to see a day when full-time free software work becomes sustainable.

Those full-time free software devs might be quite poor in comparison. And their ability to sell permissively-licensed forks might enable them to continue releasing the bulk of their work under AGPL. Would that trade off result in more, or less copyleft-licensed code being released to the community?