The JED and GPL

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The JED and GPL

Postby mattbaylor » Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:05 pm

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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby steven_gohigher » Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:06 pm

Wouldn't things be easier to adopt a model similar to that of WordPress - rather than dictate what can be on a developer's site, require extensions be GPLv2 and be downloadable from a central repository, thereby ensuring the community has access to the GPL extensions?

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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby cavo789 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:06 pm

Hi all

Just to correctly and fully understand : my extension (not yet listed) is a freemium extension i.e. free for more than 90% of people. Additionnal functionnalities (in the form of dedicated plugins) are of type premium and therefore these plugins are commercial. This is mentionned in the php header of the files (GPL for free, commercial otherwise).

Can I expect when I'm ready to publish my extension on the JED ? I'm pretty sure Yes but will appreciate a confirmation ;)

If needed, here is my site : http://avonture.be/allevents/en/presentation . English part is not yet finished.

Thanks.
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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby David-Andrew » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:23 pm

cavo789 wrote:Can I expect when I'm ready to publish my extension on the JED ? I'm pretty sure Yes but will appreciate a confirmation ;)


As long as it is "commercial" as in "commercial GPL", you will be fine. Google "commercial GPL". No encryptions or limitations on usage. You can have limitations on how mush sites you support etc.

Examples of free and commercial GPL models: nonumber.nl, akeebabackup.com. At Chill Creations we only have commercial GPL, not free versions, also works perfectly.
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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby Webdongle » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:51 pm

The future is here. Effective January 1, 2013 all listings will fall under the same rules. Any listings that distribute extensions from a site that also distributes non-GPL Joomla extensions will no longer be eligible for listing in the JED.

http://community.joomla.org/blogs/leade ... d-gpl.html

I can understand that Jed would not want to be associated with certain sites by listing downloads from porn sites etc. But to deny listing of an extension in JED because the author want to make money by selling extensions with other licences ...

The type of license should only relevant for the extension listed in JED. What else the developer does to make a living is his/her business and nothing to do with JED. If you are concerned that gpl licensed extensions will be confused with extensions with other licenses ... then have a separate repository for extensions that match the criteria.
Last edited by Webdongle on Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby brian » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:03 pm

Couldnt disagree with you more. This change is a great one and a long time coming. There have been far too many developers who have used the JED as a free traffic generator to their web sites where they abuse the GPL licence of Joomla with their non-gpl extensions.
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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby Webdongle » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:19 pm

brian wrote:...There have been far too many developers who have used the JED as a free traffic generator to their web sites where they abuse the GPL licence of Joomla with their non-gpl extensions.
So you would deny the developers their freedom of choice ... because their creating non gpl extensions is breaking the gpl of Joomla ?
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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby brian » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:26 pm

As with everything in life there is a choice. If you choose to develop extensions for joomla then you must do so in accordance with the gpl licence. If you choose not to then thats your choice but that doesnt mean there shouldnt be consequences like the loss of the privilge of free advertising.
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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby Webdongle » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:32 pm

Thank you Brian, I take your point and edited my first post accordingly. I had let my previous experiences of the JED team cloud my judgement.
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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby ozneilau » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:17 am

Any listings that distribute extensions from a site that also distributes non-GPL Joomla extensions will no longer be eligible for listing in the JED.

If I understand correctly, this will affect some major Joomla players such as Joomlapolis who provide the very popular Community Builder for free but charge for CBSubs which is not GPL.

If developers want to continue with their current revenue models, then could they (for example), create a separate sub-domain or website for their non-GPL extensions? E.g. non-gpl.joomlapolis.com or non-gpl-joomlapolis.com or similar or are developers expected to completely redesign their revenue models by January 2013?

I am a big fan of GPL but also like to support developers with sustainable business models so I have some confidence they will still be around to offer support in future.

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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby David-Andrew » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:26 pm

@Webdongle and ozneilau

Many extension developers have already proven that commercial GPL is a perfect and sustainable business model. Checkout nonumber.nl, akeebackup.com, rsjoomla.com, chillcreations.com (that's me) and others. Most are over 3 year old business, the last 2 have multiple employees.

If they want to continue they should re-license to full GPL, not create new sites. I am pretty sure the JED will not accept that, as its effectively just moving the problem. If you use Joomla!, you accept that its GPL, and you should accept the stance by the Joomla! leadership, that all extensions should also be GPL. If you do not accept that after 2 years (this discussion is not new), and now run into issues,... That's kind of slow. The developers with these models have had LOTS of time to consider their options. It's bad business practice if they STILL did not think about this, even after they got a warning in 2010. Now that's unsustainable!

But honestly guys, commercial GPL is a perfectly acceptable business model.
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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby David-Andrew » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:27 pm

And thanks for caring about extension developers and their businesses guys, cause that's what you are doing, and that cool :-)
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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby hefesto » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:19 pm

Congrats to the JED team for taking this decision. Rules that have exceptions such as "gradfathering" are not good rules in my opinion, so I think this modification is a very good one.

brian wrote:As with everything in life there is a choice. If you choose to develop extensions for joomla then you must do so in accordance with the gpl licence. If you choose not to then thats your choice but that doesnt mean there shouldnt be consequences like the loss of the privilge of free advertising.


Totally agreed. Please note that being listed in the JED is not a right, but a privilege (as clearly stated in JED TOS). There are many devs doing business with Joomla extensions who have chosen not being listed in the JED because of rules like this one we're talking about. They're free to do it, and some have found a way to make it profitable. Congrats to them, and I wish them the best of lucks.

But this decision is imho aimed at encouraging and rewarding those that have chosen a business model which is fully in concordance with Joomla Project's vision. Those following these rules will have the privilege of getting a platform that provides (among other things) free advertising, visibility and direct feedback from within the community, in a site which is 100% managed by volunteers. I think it's a fair deal :).
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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby ozneilau » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:20 pm

David-Andrew wrote:If they want to continue they should re-license to full GPL, not create new sites. I am pretty sure the JED will not accept that, as its effectively just moving the problem. If you use Joomla!, you accept that its GPL, and you should accept the stance by the Joomla! leadership, that all extensions should also be GPL. If you do not accept that after 2 years (this discussion is not new), and now run into issues,... That's kind of slow.

Thanks for the clarification. Hopefully developers that aren't already compliant have plans underway so that normal service can continue and users of their extensions are not left unsupported.

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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby David-Andrew » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:33 pm

ozneilau wrote:
David-Andrew wrote:Hopefully developers that aren't already compliant have plans underway so that normal service can continue and users of their extensions are not left unsupported.


Exactly!

And if they do switch, it will greatly benefit Joomla! users as it will remove these restrictions:
- install extensions on unlimited websites
- no more encrypted extensions (modify them if you need to)
- more innovation

More innovation? Yes. One example. Our customer have asked us to implement the iDEAL payment method (very popular in the Netherlands) into CBSubs since the very beginning. With GPL extensions like RSForm Pro or Akeeba Subscriptions, this is not a problem as we can examine the code and develop a plugin for iDEAL. With CBSubs which is encrypted (and thus closed source), we can't. The CBSubs team has been saying to release a public API to allow this for 2 years, but until now I haven't received word or the API documents... Essentially meaning that businesses that wanted to build something on Joomla! had to go elsewhere or abandon their plans altogether.
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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby ozneilau » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:54 pm

David-Andrew wrote:And if they do switch, it will greatly benefit Joomla! users as it will remove these restrictions:
- install extensions on unlimited websites
- no more encrypted extensions (modify them if you need to)
- more innovation

I get it.

I have a client that is locked in to a recruitment extension but the developer has publicly stated they can't respond to support requests because they have to concentrate on development. The extension uses ionCube so i assume it is encrypted and this leaves the client with nowhere to go for support. It is not good if your business is relying on an extension that can't be supported.

Thanks,

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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby mattbaylor » Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:43 am

This is part of my quest to eliminate double standards based on when someone stumbled through the door. Everyone needs to be held to the same rules across the board.

A question asked was what about developers that just move their non-GPL stuff to a different domain?

Even though distributing non-GPL code isn't within the spirit of the Joomla mission, the policy being enforced starting Jan 1 only applies to domains the JED links to.

Personally I strongly believe if you want to live off the coat-tails you should at least respect the platforms choice of distribution license.

This shouldn't be a big surprise, the GPL issue has been debated to death over the years and there has been plenty of time to adjust. There are plenty of developers that have been quite successful using the GPL so the argument that it's not possible to feed your children using a GPL distribution model doesn't hold water.

Hopefully the lack of traffic is enough to make those holding out to re-evaluate their stance and use the GPL. But if you're dead set on using a license with limitations, it's your choice; just as it is our choice not to support you with a free ride.
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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby darb » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:41 am

David-Andrew wrote:
ozneilau wrote:
David-Andrew wrote:Hopefully developers that aren't already compliant have plans underway so that normal service can continue and users of their extensions are not left unsupported.


Exactly!

And if they do switch, it will greatly benefit Joomla! users as it will remove these restrictions:
- install extensions on unlimited websites
- no more encrypted extensions (modify them if you need to)
- more innovation

More innovation? Yes. One example. Our customer have asked us to implement the iDEAL payment method (very popular in the Netherlands) into CBSubs since the very beginning. With GPL extensions like RSForm Pro or Akeeba Subscriptions, this is not a problem as we can examine the code and develop a plugin for iDEAL. With CBSubs which is encrypted (and thus closed source), we can't. The CBSubs team has been saying to release a public API to allow this for 2 years, but until now I haven't received word or the API documents... Essentially meaning that businesses that wanted to build something on Joomla! had to go elsewhere or abandon their plans altogether.


And that why its important to know all the devs extensions if you need them and the developers real business model long term so you are not trapped with frustrating problems in future. Most people that see these encrypted solutions avoid them and go elsewhere.

And I am sure this often creates more competition for this 3pds instead with more options to other alternatives. Like in this case with CBsubs I guess you can use alternatives not encrypted. Options like Akeeba Subscription, also a great subscription with a lot of features AEC subscription ( http://www.valanx.org ) etc that is flexible to work with.
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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby brian » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:36 am

For the record OSM has had this requirement for doman names with the trademark "joomla" in them for a long time
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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby fcoulter » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:43 pm

I am pleased to hear this news - I have seen the previous system quite blatantly abused.

The worst example was a GPL extension listed in the JED which did nothing at all except include the files of a non GPL encrypted extension which had to be downloaded and installed from the same site. I think that sort of abuse was already prohibited by the JED terms but the new rules will make it much harder to get away with this sort of thing.

I was quite sceptical at first about whether it would be possible to run my business with GPL licensed extensions, but actually it has worked for me. What some developers seem to forget is that a GPL license is a positive thing from the customer's point of view, hence is a useful marketing point.
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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby TheMuffinMan » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:53 pm

Hi!

A guess from somebody doing GPL-only extensions for both, non-commercial and commercial:

Try to forget about ionCube, special commercial licenses and similar constructs to "protect" your valuable code. Using the GPL for commercial projects works perfectly. After 4 years, I can guarantee you that. I would say it is even more successful, the keyword is trust.

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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby n3tcz » Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:12 pm

Any listings that distribute extensions from a site that also distributes non-GPL Joomla extensions will no longer be eligible for listing in the JED.

Let me ask, what is meaning of "site" in this sentence? Domain? Subdomain? Subfolder?

For example my extensions are hosted on joomlacode.org. On this domain are also hosted nonGPL extensions (when you Create project there, you can choose License like Apache, BSD etc.). Do I need to move my extensions?

Another example - if subdomain is used (such as joomla.example.com), does this rule apply to main domain also ( www.example.com )?

Finally, I guess people, who want to obey this rule, they will just find the way. What about website with only GPL extensions and with many links (even in menu) to another site with nonGPL extensions?

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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby Webdongle » Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:58 am

This confuses me ... if a site has Joomla extensions and all are GPL but has non Joomla extensions software with another licence.
  1. Do the Joomla extensions still get listed because the rule only applies to their Joomla extensions on the site ?
    or
  2. Do listings get refused because of other non Joomla extensions software has other licences ?
If #1 then yes I see how the rule would be fair ... to expect all their Joomla extensions to be GPL and not just the ones they list. But if #2 then surely the JED team should not refuse on that basis ?
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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby brian » Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:20 am

The rule only applies to their Joomla extensions see http://docs.joomla.org/JED_Entries_License_Checklist C1.2
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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby Webdongle » Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:30 am

Thanks Brian that clears up my confusion perfectly.
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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby -Fox- » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:55 pm

brian wrote:If you choose to develop extensions for joomla then you must do so in accordance with the gpl licence. If you choose not to then thats your choice...

Actually, not.
From the lawyer point of view the GPL is a viral license: Joomla extensions can not run without Joomla, therefore all of them are always infected with the GPL license. No exceptions.

However I understand that the JED Team can not persuade all the authors therefore the rule mentioned above is probably the quickest way to penalize non-GPL extensions.

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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby Webdongle » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:37 am

But an extension is a separate entity and designed to be added to Joomla and is not derived from it. It is only when it is used with Joomla that viral license applies surely ?

Nevertheless if the JED rule is applied fairly and evenly then that is what really matters isn't it ?
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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby -Fox- » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:44 am

I agree. In addition the Free Software Foundation doesn't help understanding how it should work.

However, my lawyer always says that a Joomla extension can not run stand-alone. When it runs, it became like a piece of Joomla.
Think at a tyre for a car. If you use it as a garden game, it must respect rules for safety in garden games, while if you mount it on your car for the law it becomes part of your car and it must respect all the rules about cars. But the tyre is not derived by the car and it is made by a different manufacturer.
I agree that this is the nearest interpretation to the original spirit of the GPL license.

I support the JED rule.
For me is not a problem that people fairly sell GPL and non-GPL programs on the same site, but I understand that some people may be not fair doing so. If JET team has discovered that it happened, I definitely support the JED rule.

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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby kenmcd » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:32 am

.
How will it be determined that the commercial or other extensions listed on these websites are GPL and JED compliant?
How will the "policing" of the non-JED-listed extensions be handled?
How will it be determined that these other extensions do not have obfuscated/encrypted code?
If they require a fee to download many users are never going to examine the extension.
If they are not listed in the JED no files have been submitted for review when a listing is requested.

Extensions listed in the JED are regularly found with obfuscated/encrypted code.
I have found two myself in the last few weeks (reported and removed from the JED).
From this I assume there are many other extensions found by other users as well.
It appears to be an ongoing problem.

All these JED-listed extensions have to be submitted to the JED for listing.
And there are still many cases of non-compliance found.

So how will it be determined if the non-JED-listed extensions are really open source GPL?


-----
The bigger picture . . .

Public disclosure and a record of violations would encourage self-compliance.
Where is the developer history of violations?
No innocent user has any way to know the developer has a long history of unethical behavior.

Currently there is no public history of bad behavior so it happens over and over.
Anyone who has been around awhile and has a good memory knows there are some "bad" players out there.
These "bad" players are still in business because the current secrecy policy hides their bad deeds.

The developer page on the JED should include a record of the JED warnings, de-listings, and violations.

The last extension I reported for hidden code on the JED currently shows:
This extension has been unpublished for the following reason:
- UR9-Violation - Licensing Restrictions
Unpublished Comments From Editors
- Contains obfuscated code.

But that page only shows if you already know the URL to that extension.
Nothing shows in the JED search - the extension is simply not found.
Very few users will ever see this warning (only someone with a bookmark).
So this blatant violation of hidden code has little or no consequences.

Later the extension will probably be listed again.
No one will know what happened.
Users will not know this developer cannot be trusted.

Other developers will know that there are no serious consequences to breaking the rules.
So what if your extension is de-listed for awhile.
You got caught but who cares.
Wait awhile and no one knows what you did.
This is a bad policy that does not encourage self-compliance.


When the Internal Revenue Service in the USA announces a new compliance push the press releases actually state as part of the goals is to get the publicity gained from high profile cases.
That public disclosure encourages many others to comply on their own.
They know that one Wesley-Snipes-goes-to-jail case is worth many, many, many revenue agents' long hours.

Public disclosure of developer history on the JED would have multiple benefits.
- Users would be much better informed on whether they should trust this developer with their website and/or money.
- Self-compliance would reduce the JED volunteers time load spent on "policing" violations.
- And serial violators will no longer benefit from the JED secrecy which enables them to continue.

Mutual protection is a benefit of real community - helping innocent users be protected from the bad guys.
The current JED secrecy is just protecting the bad apples.


What really needs to be discussed is how to improve the developer summary page.
The current focus is on rating the extensions with little attention to the developer (which creates the biggest user problems).
Perhaps a new thread on that subject would be appropriate, and very useful discussion.
.
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Re: The JED and GPL

Postby Webdongle » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:53 am

+1 kenmcd
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