Wording in FAQ confilicts with license

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Joined: 21 Jan 2024


I noticed the FAQ states the following:
Businesses and government institutions may still use FreeFileSync, but are required to buy the FreeFileSync Business Edition.
In order to allow FreeFileSync in a commercial setting, it is required to license a number of devices for installation by using the form below.
While the software is advertised as open source, and provided with a GPLv3 license.
I totally respect your right and ability protect your efforts and sell re-licensed as desired but as far as I can tell (as a non-legal-expert) the above conflicts with the GPLv3.

While the GPLv3 allows the addition of extra terms, they're to the requirements defined in section since otherwise:
If the Program as you received it, or any part of it, contains a notice stating that it is governed by this License along with a term that is a further restriction, you may remove that term.
I know the following was stated in this thread:
As the author and copyright owner it is my right to add exceptions to the GPL license as I see fit.
But as per section 7 of the GPLv3 license I don't believe this to be true, or at least those additional exceptions/restrictions can be removed and effectively ignored.
Regardless of specific license, such limitations would go against what most consider the definition of open source (OSD) so preventing specific use, while advertising as open source could be somewhat misleading to many.

Again, I respect the effort that such software must take, and the wonderful fact you are providing that for free, I'm just trying to advise of the potential confusion this could result it by being contradictory.
I think just changing the language around the free edition would help respect the rights of the licensing while putting forward your intent. Something like:
The standard version of FreeFileSync is intended for private use only. The same applies to the FreeFileSync Donation Edition. While the standard version can be used freely under its GPLv3 license, we strongly advise businesses and government institutions buy the very affordable business edition which not only helps sustain this project, but also comes with variety of very useful added features for business.
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But that does still mean the standard version can be used commercially if it's licensed with GPL xCSxXenon, 21 Dec 2023, 17:51
That's a big if! It should be clear by now, that the intent is that the "Donation" and "Standard" FreeFileSync editions may not be used commercially.

How this intent is communicated is more a technicality: If someone claims that the FAQ item is not authoritative for whatever reason, I can also update the license text with the very same restriction.

Until now it seemed to me that writing additional legal texts is not the best use of my time, just to make a few lawyers understand what's up while every normal person can read and understand the FAQ. Zenju, 22 Dec 2023, 08:28
This is Zenju's response to the standard edition being used commercially.
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Sure, I get the license could be updated as per that response but then it's no longer under GPLv3 or (generally considered) open source, so the website would really need to reflect that too otherwise there's still contradictory (and potentially misleading) information there.

It could be added as an additional term of the GPLv3 but, as my original post, that can be removed and essentially ignored.
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But that does still mean the standard version can be used commercially if it's licensed with GPL xCSxXenon, 21 Dec 2023, 17:51
That's a big if! Zenju, 22 Dec 2023, 08:28
...isn't this implying that the standard version isn't licensed with GPL?

I mean I'm no lawyer, just a normal person, but it seems to me that if being licensed with GPL is a "big if", maybe you shouldn't put the license in there.
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Can we get a confirmation on whether the freefilesync standard version is not under GPLv3?