First of all I know it would be better to ask a lawyer, but being a student that is out of the question so I have to make do . OK so my goal is to release a piece of software as open source and then hopefully make a little money by supporting it. I'm personally opposed to the GPL because of the viral nature of the license but on the other hand from a business perspective the GPL is (ironically) a better choice than a BSD/MIT/Apache style license as competitors won't be able to integrate the code into their code base without providing their enhancements back to the original project (directly or indirectly). I notice that quite a bit of open source software that is funded by this commercial support style entity is licensed under one of the liberal open source licenses (BSD etc) but do they just not worry about other companies coming along and verbatim copying their code into competing software? Which perhaps could allow them to come to a position to be able to compete in a faster time than if they had to provide their enhancements to the community at large. So what would you do? I don't think it is feasible to release under a closed source license. Software such as this really needs to be open in order to gain any sort of traction with the community at large.