I recently developed an animation library called React SPHO, and in contrast to many libraries I chose to use a dual license approach. That is, React SPHO is free to use in your own open source project, but if you’re going to use it for commercial purposes then you need a paid license. Given that charging for an open source library is pretty rare I knew that I would get some pushback from developers, so hopefully this essay addresses those concerns.
The reason I’m charging for commercial usage is that I’m an individual developer that loves to code, and I want to make money by coding.
I don’t want to make money by selling support, or training, or swag.
I don’t want to beg for donations.
I’m not part of a company that is releasing a project for hiring or marketing purposes.
I’m not trying to use the library to find a job or gain personal notoriety.
I want to get paid writing code, that I want to write, that provides value to companies.
If React SPHO provides value to companies and saves developers some time and money, then it’s entirely reasonable to be paid for that.
I’ve also structured the costs to be in “no-brainer” territory. It’s a one-time fee for perpetual use of the library and all subsequent improvements. The cost for a commercial license is dependent on how much money your company is making:
At these prices it will cost your company more just to have the meeting about whether or not it’s worth paying for a commercial license than to just buy it.
Will companies actually pay for React SPHO? I guess we’ll find out, but I honestly believe it is the easiest to use animation library for UIs built in React.
If you’re a developer reading this and don’t want to pay for software, just know that you’re cutting your own throat. As developers it will be a better world for us if more of us can make a good living by writing open source code as individuals not tied to any company.
Now go check out React SPHO and make your UIs more fluid and organic with very little work.
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