Hello! I’d appreciate some input on a project I’m starting, to help me understand if it would be appropriate for me to use software licensed under GNU, such as Discourse.
I provide consulting and custom code for small businesses that want to create monetized online communities. Typically they have a Wix or Wordpress site and associated forum.
I’ve started wondering about offering to manage a Discourse forum for some of my customers, and creating custom plugins to meet their needs. I wouldn’t be sharing Discourse source code - these are low-tech customers, and are probably not even interested in installing Discourse themselves, so I would manage their hosting. I also would not be modifying Discourse source code, but I would be creating plugins. This would be paid work for for-profit businesses.
Is this an appropriate use of Discourse? Both in terms of the technicalities of the GNU license, and the spirit of the law, in terms of being a good open-source citizen. I’ve used open-source software for decades for my own personal use, donated and contributed to projects, but have never had a reason to involve it in my business life.