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Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

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    Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 1 week ago
    • Got this in the mail today. For those who didn't, I have copied the pasted the email verbatim below. This was discussed in this forum a month or two ago but i coul;dn't find the thread so have started this new one. This issue will impact us all so please make your voice heard, regardless of which school of thought you join.
      Dear Jomres & Jombok User,

      I would like to take a moment to draw your attention to an important matter the core team of Joomla is currently considering. Simply put, it is the answer to the question:

      "Can Joomla! extensions be released under non-GPL compatible licenses?"

      Most component/extension developers who are full time Joomla developers use a non-GPL license. You have probably purchased one of their extensions at some point. Usually $20-50 and the non-GPL license asks that you use the component on a single website.

      If extensions/components must be GPL, then a different business model is required. This is usually along the lines of giving the component away for free and charging for support, or consultancy-based.

      The current debate seems to fall on two sides; full time commercial Joomla developers think that GPL-only extensions/components will lead to fewer 3rd party developers and fewer components.

      Others, including key members of the Joomla core team think that this won't happen and developers will be able to easily adjust to different business models.

      The Joomla Commercial Developer's Allicance have made this statement: jcd-a.org/component/option,com_smf/Itemid,28/topic,84.0/

      and you can find a series of observations from me here: jcd-a.org/component/option,com_smf/Itemid,28/topic,100.0/

      Joomla is asking for the Joomla end user community to contact them with your thoughts on this issue: www.joomla.org/content/view/3255/1/

      “All feedback from the forum thread as well as emails sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., will be integral to review and consideration for the greater good of the project and the community."

      I'd like to ask you to take a moment of your valuable time and email your thoughts to Joomla. It really boils down to these two opinions.

      If you are too busy, you could just copy and paste one of them...

      YES!
      I think that commercial developers should be able to use non-GPL licenses for their components and choose their own business model.

      NO!
      All commercial components should be GPL licensed and free, and they must use a GPL-compatible business model.

      Thanks for your time, I appreciate you reading this email. I know you are busy, but I thought this was an important issue for all that use Joomla.

      ps
      If you have a bunch of time on your hands, the background for this question has been discussed (exhaustively) at:
      forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic,163492.0.html
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    Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 1 week ago
    • I think that commercial developers should be able to use non-GPL licenses for their components and choose their own business model. They should be paid for the effort, if they so decide.

      Can you imagine the amount of work to code Virtuemart? Yet, it is free. That's great.

      Then look at components like iJoomla makes. Very complex yet very valuable. I doubt many of them would exist if they were free.

      It's up to the end user to decide to buy a 3PD component or not. If they force them all to be free, there won't be as many and the quality will drop.
  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 1 week ago
    • If the core go through with this, it may send Joomla! down the pan (if I understood correctly)
    • James Spencer / Developer & Support / Hull, UK
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    Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 1 week ago
    • Andy is probably in a real catch-22. He is a member of the core team, so probably to an extent must toe the official line, yet some have suggested that templates be made GNU/GPL as well, so his business and livelihood could be at risk.
      /*end speculation*/

      One hopes that a lot of lobbying is going on behind the scenes to ensure the survival of RT and commercial extensions everywhere.
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  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 1 week ago
    • I cannot see the core team dumping the commerical side of Joomla!. It just does not seem to fit. Only time will tell, but I imagine it shall be a positive one.
    • James Spencer / Developer & Support / Hull, UK
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    Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 1 week ago
    • templates are not included in this issue ... see:

      www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#TOCWMS

      basically as it stands (andy correct me if i'm wrong); joomla is released as GPL and as such anything that is added to that (the GPL license actually refers to modules and extensions coincidentally) they also have to be GPL
      1. www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLAndPlugins

      If the program dynamically links plug-ins, and they make function calls to each other and share data structures, we believe they form a single program, which must be treated as an extension of both the main program and the plug-ins. This means the plug-ins must be released under the GPL or a GPL-compatible free software license, and that the terms of the GPL must be followed when those plug-ins are distributed.

      2. www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#TOCMereAggregation

      Combining two modules means connecting them together so that they form a single larger program. If either part is covered by the GPL, the whole combination must also be released under the GPL--if you can't, or won't, do that, you may not combine them.

      the issue isn't if commercial developers are allowed to charge or not as the GPL license allows chargeable extensions and modules, it's if that chargeable extension or module is released GPL

      GPL basically means I can download Joomla and resell it .. so if a commercial component developer was to sell me something for $50 and the license was GPL ... i could sell it to 6 people on here for $10 each ... and make money

      my opinion is that the whole license for joomla needs to be changed because as it stands if you've got a commercial component installed on your joomla site that isn't GPL, you are breaking the GPL license guidelines ... you cant have joomla without commerical developers but you also need joomla to be free ... and you cant start charging for joomla
    • Last Edit: 15 years 1 week ago by damo.
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    Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 1 week ago
    • another fork brewing perhaps ??

      in the begining all was right in the universe, then Mambo begat Joomla and there was much celebration, then in its 2nd year Joomla begat......??

      what?? a commercial version with its own lic scheme ?? with a seperate "hobby" download free and in NO violation of GPL??.......... it would afford 3rd party to do the same "Pro version"... " Lite Version"???
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    Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 1 week ago
    • Alright guys, let's not repeat the fiasco of the gpl thread on the joomla forums. official statement is forthcoming to reiterate and clarify the facts. Some quick facts tho: 1) joomla is and has been gpl as was mambo before it. 2) gpl doesn't mean you can't charge for you extensions 3) templates are in a somewhat unique position as images/css/javascript etc are not restricted to GPL licensing.

      Basically i'm a commercial template developer and also intend on selling joomla components in the future. I am 100% confident that I can do this effectively and legally with the existing license.

      cheers
  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 1 week ago
    • The thing with templates though is that they use the same functionality that components and modules do.

      They call core functions and technically access joomla coode just as much as any module I have written and in most cases more.

      e.g. my modulizer module really does nothing except call a module position and then do something to it depending on the parameters..

      Well a template calls at least 8+ module positions. Why is my module then subject to GPL, but a template which uses 8x as much joomla code or more not?

      it's an exception of convenience imo. ;)


      Because Joomla might die without commercial extensions, but it will die without commercial templates.

      Anyway my opinion is Yes commercial devs should be allowed to charge and release with non GPL licenses.

      If you take the major commercial components off the extensions directory you find it very bleak indeed. What a lot of people don't take into consideration either is that a very large percentage of the 'free' components are also produced by commercial developers.

      A recent discussion amongst the commercial developers seems to indicate that on average commercial developers produce 2x as many and above free extensions for every commercial one.

      Also development on many of the larger 'free' components - e.g. CB and SOBI2 for starters is at least partially funded (and in some cases solely) by the sale of other non GPL components by the same developers.

      Can you imagine Joomla without CB? Sobi2 would also be a big loss also as it is basically the only large directory component other than mosets tree (also non gpl)

      So if this goes through Joomla will no longer have a community component or a directory component, and that is just the start.
      All you guys with real estate sites say bye bye to Joomla if you want to continue your business. :o

      However people should probably make their voice heard over at the Joomla forum rather than here where their voice probably won't be heard all that loudly.
    • Last Edit: 15 years 1 week ago by Daniel Chapman.
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    Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 1 week ago
    • I agree with most commercial devs that commercial extensions should be allowed in Joomla 1.5+ and all future versions. But i think if the core disallows this, they need to include templates for the reasons cited above and by others elsewhere. If you take away a business model from some, and allow others, i think there will be a mass exodous of devs from Joomla, or at least a large-scale boycott of 1.5 (and i think we all know where that will head).

      It seems that when the Mambo community was not happy with the decisions at the top, the community moved on. I hope Joomla! learns from Mambo's mistakes as it would be a waste of resources should a similar fate await Joomla!

      Andy, i hope your hints make all this specualtion a complete waste of time, but i also hope some explanation comes down as to why there is so much secrecy on this issue (which of course is the source of the speculation). I expected open projects to have more trasparency.
    • Last Edit: 15 years 1 week ago by V-man.

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