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ConcourseConnect Open Source Licensing

Posted by Tom Manos on June 3, 2009 9:35 AM EDT
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I thought I'd take a moment and talk about the way we license ConcourseConnect, and why.

Connect is licensed under the GNU Affero General Public License Version 3 (AGPL), which is OSI approved, and very similar to the GPL3. It is a "viral" license, in that any modifications you make to the code must also be redistributed under the AGPL, and the same applies if you provide Connect to users over the network.

We chose the AGPL because it provides the most freedom to the community and insures that all improvements and bug fixes are shared and can become a part of the main distribution. All users and providers of the system realize the benefits.

What this means to you as a provider of the application is that the AGPL requires that the complete source code of your version be made available to any network user of your version of Connect . Of course this does not apply to content, but it does apply to themes, portlets, workflows, new modules, plugins, or any other code changes to Connect. You assume the burden of making all your code changes available, but you also receive the similar benefit of using the improvements made by Concursive and other users of the system.

The only possible downside to you, the provider of Connect, is that the license does not permit you to provide proprietary additions to the application without also redistributing them. But in fact, there is a commercial licensing scheme that provides you exactly what you want: a fully supported version of Connect, with major functionality additions designed for production Connect systems, and the ability to add your own modifications without restriction.

To learn more about the Affero GNU Public License V3, follow this link:

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/agpl-3.0.html

To learn more about the different versions of ConcourseConnect, follow this link:

http://www.concursive.com/show/concourseconnect/wiki/Versions

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