no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

*IF* you want to share your opinion on the GPL issue, this is the place for you.
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no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by carsten888 » Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:25 pm

I've heard rumours about a new license for Joomla 1.5.

It seems licensed commercial components are no longer allowed in Joomla 1.5!

If this is true it realy sucks because I spent the last 2 years working on my component (and plugins) and plan to release when 1.5 is stable.

Can any core-team-member please tell me if this is true, or what is going on?
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Re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by usasportstraining » Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:19 am

I haven't developed anything, but I'm wondering about these rumours as well.
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Re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by brad » Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:24 am

Mod note: post moved to correct forum.
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Re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by aoirthoir » Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:41 am

Carsten and UsaSportsTraining,

You will find most of the questions you have answered in the post at the top of this forum. Here's the direct link:

http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic,183756.0.html
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no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by Trijnie » Fri Jul 20, 2007 12:55 am

Hi Guy's  :)

I trust you have found your awnsers?

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Re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by erickendrick » Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:57 am

related to this thread.

Hope this clears up this issue for you:
  • The license for 1.5 is identical to the current license.
  • Because of how extensions work with Joomla, it can be considered that extensions are derivative works. This has issues for extensions with a non-GPL compatible license (proprietary extensions).
  • Joomla rightly needed to affirm it's pure GPL commitment with an announcement, and that it was not encouraging or condoning infringement of the GPL. This has left proprietary extensions (and developers) out in the cold at the moment.
  • Proprietary extensions are still welcome, but they can't be derivative works. There are a number of technical solutions under development for this.
Until a solution is developed, Joomla cannot be seen to (or bluntly, just cannot) encourage proprietary extensions. As you haven't released your component yet, you may want to investigate ways to provide it under a GPL compatible license. Alternatively, why not get involved in one of the developments taking place to solve this issue?

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Re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by mcsmom » Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:02 am

In addition, the distinction between commercial and proprietary is very important. There is absolutely no problem with selling extensions. The problem is with selling extensions that are not licensed under gpl or gpl compatible licenses.
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Re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by Trijnie » Fri Jul 20, 2007 4:02 pm

http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic,191499.0.html

Hello mcsmom,

If the enforcement of the GPL also effects current version (as stated), how will it be applied to products
that are currently already on the market. Take for instance  HotProperty or mosIPN. Are these developers in
violation with the Joomla! GPL?

Thanks in advance,

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Re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by mcsmom » Fri Jul 20, 2007 4:09 pm

Since I don't use those extensions and am not an IP lawyer, I can't say. Figuring out whether there is a violation in a specific instance requires a close look at the code and all of the issues that have been discussed in other threads. That is why if you look at the FSF website on compliance procedures the most important part of the process when a possible violation is reported is talking with the developer and determining whether a violation has occurred.
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Re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by erickendrick » Fri Jul 20, 2007 6:52 pm

It is worth noting that the issue of whether a violation occurs applies equally to all extensions, including GPL ones. You cannot be 100% sure without personally performing an audit of all code you use. So pragmatically you are placing your trust in the developer/brand and organisation promoting the work.

There is no reason to suggest that you cannot continue to trust the developers of HotProperty or mosIPN, if they declare their works as non-derivative then they are clearly taking on the legal responsibility. As you would, if you become a distributor of the components/Joomla.

That said, there *is* a question over whether the current standard way of extensions interfacing with Joomla makes them derivative works by definition. That really needs to be investigated, and this is a good discussion about this, plus people are developing solutions to make it beyond doubt that they aren't.

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Re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by carsten888 » Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:34 pm

thank you all for your replies! (and sorry I posted it in the wrong category)

So it seems to come down too this: (bear with me, English is not my first language)

- without the GPL GNU-license I am not allowed to sell my component, so thats not an option.

- I am allowed to sell of my Joomla component under GPL GNU-license. Anyone who buys one can then freely distribute copies (as the GPL GNU-license implies when it gets sold the licence comes with it). So it becomes open-source after all, no income for me  :(

I'm thinking about the following workaround:
I want to release a 30 day trail version. After 30 days it can still be used on localhost but not online. I want to sell license keys. To make sure not anyone can just undo this restriction I want to make 1 file in the component encrypted (obfuscated code). Is that allowed for a component under GPL GNU-license?
I that way anyone can copy the component but not use it online without a valid (and unique) key. In that way Joomla happy, customers happy and I can pay my morgage  :)

@erickendrick:
can you please elaborate on this:
Proprietary extensions are still welcome, but they can't be derivative works.
wikipedia about derivative works (software):
Because the legal situation is not entirely certain, the following should thus only be taken as rules of thumb:

    * If the original software is modified to create the new program, a derived work is created.
    * If the original software was designed to accept plug-ins or drivers using a defined mechanism, such a driver or plug-in does not form a derived work.
    * In the same sense linking to a library in the way it was designed to be interfaced with, does not constitute deriving a work.
Look at the second point. Joomla is designed for plugins, so plugins can not be seen as derivative works as long as they don't modify the core.
This makes it look like I can just go ahead and release my component as a Proprietary extension.

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Re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by Jenny » Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:09 pm

Joomla! and its predecessors were not specifically designed for plugins. It is a stand alone program that functions as intended.  Being able to extend Joomla! is a perk.  It isn't designed like say an operating system that is specifically built to be extended.
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Re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by aoirthoir » Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:17 pm

Carsten,

One of the requirements of the GNU GPL is that the user can run the program for any reason without restriction. If you begin to restrict the program, then you are not being compliant with the GNU GPL. Further, once someone has your program, from any means, whether from you or another person, they have a right to request the source code from you. So if the code is encrypted, you have to provide this to them. If it is not, of course then they already have the code.

Whether something is a derivative is a matter of law which unfortunately is quite ambiguous. Different courts have come to different conclusions on the matter. Some of the team have stated that stand alone programs that exist fully by themselves without Joomla! might not be derivatives when they tie into Joomla!. So you might want to ask yourself if your extension requires Joomla! to work. If it does, it is most likely a derivative.
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re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by erickendrick » Sat Jul 21, 2007 2:41 pm

@aoirthoir: We haven't reached a conclusion on the debate yet, so your last sentence stands out as a little wrong. If you changed the last sentence from "most likely" to "could be" I think it would be a good statement to give to people in carsten's position while the debate continues.

@MMMedia: while Joomla wasn't originally designed for plugins it is definately part of the current design. However, an operating system has these interfacing layers defined from the outset, so there is clear separation, which is not present in Joomla. In particular the calling of GPL functions from proprietary code appears improper to me, so from a license perspective I feel the current design is faulty.

@carsten888: that is the way I read it also, but I am not a lawyer, and no-one is in a position to make a firm conclusion as yet. There are many different points coming up in the forum discussions that need to be looked at before we can begin to conclude one way or the other. If you want to distribute proprietary extensions at this time you should consult a lawyer, make it a good one. And please accept that Joomla and the Joomla community cannot condone or encourage proprietary extensions while this is unresolved, and respect that.

In the meantime, there are technical solutions for this issue in development, and they would welcome another developer on-board. In my opinion that is a better investment of the your time and money right now.

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Re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by Jenny » Sat Jul 21, 2007 2:44 pm

When you say current design are you meaning 1.5?
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Re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by carsten888 » Sat Jul 21, 2007 6:28 pm

@erickendrick
In the meantime, there are technical solutions for this issue in development
I would love to hear more about those technical solutions. Althou all this seems to be more a legal issue.

I think the Joomla legal department will have to make up their minds as to what they want to allow other developers to do in the system and under which license. I think Joomla would have to do this and not a law or lawyers, cos laws in different countries are different and lawyers disagree on this. Lawyers are not programmers who can explain which core-tables a 3rd party developer is allowed to alter etc. The Joomla core team will have to make clear guidlines as to:
- what is still considered a plugin (be is component, module, mambot or mixed) under which license
- what is an unacceptable bit of code / derivative work / core-hack under which license

only the Joomla core team can make these desicions.

Maybe its an idea if there would be a sort of team looking into new plugins, checking them for these issues (and while they are at it, check for malicious code). If they find the plugin to have unacceptable code they could let the contributer know and give him/her the chance to alter the code so they don't have to worry about getting sued later.
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Re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by ianmac » Sat Jul 21, 2007 11:18 pm

only the Joomla core team can make these desicions.
That is NOT a decision that the Joomla! core team can make.  The legal implications of extensions can only be determined by a court of law.

It has been stated that the Joomla! team is not interested in taking legal action.

It is up to third party developers to determine if they are legally comfortable with releasing non-GPL extensions.  It may be that an upstream copyright holder (i.e. Mambo developer or third party library developer) decides that these extensions are derivatives.  In this case, they may choose to ask the third party developer to cease distributing the extension, or in a severe case can try to take legal action to protect their rights.  The courts are then free to decide apart from what any user, developer or team member of Joomla! believes.

It is my opinion that legal action is very unlikely, as Joomla! has no interest in this and it is doubtful whether any upstream copyright holders would have the financial will to embark upon legal action.  But, that is just my opinion.

The point in a nutshell I am trying to make is that the decision of whether or not Joomla! extensions are derivate of the Joomla! project in a legal sense is a question that would be up to the courts to decide if legal action were to be taken.  The courts are quite free to decide independent of the opinion of Joomla! or OSM.

The Joomla! core team has expressed the opinion (with help from their legal council) that some or many extensions could be considered derivative works.  It is not in the interest of the Joomla! team to make absolute decision on an extension by extension basis because they can in no way guarantee that the courts would agree with their decision.

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Re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by mcsmom » Sun Jul 22, 2007 1:41 am

it is doubtful whether any upstream copyright holders would have the financial will to embark upon legal action
the Free Software Foundation will assist any upstream copyright holder in asserting his or her rights. They will do this free of charge.
So poor  finances of coders is not an issue that I would count on to protect by business. But that's just me. :)
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Re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by ianmac » Sun Jul 22, 2007 2:03 am

mcsmom wrote:
it is doubtful whether any upstream copyright holders would have the financial will to embark upon legal action
the Free Software Foundation will assist any upstream copyright holder in asserting his or her rights. They will do this free of charge.
So poor  finances of coders is not an issue that I would count on to protect by business. But that's just me. :)
Fair enough...  thanks for the clarification.

I'm not in business in this stuff myself, so I don't worry about that too much, but just trying to provide sensible information.  Appreciate your perspective and for pointing that out!

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re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by Asphyx » Sun Jul 22, 2007 3:30 pm

Reply to: http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic,191499.0.html
t seems licensed commercial components are no longer allowed in Joomla 1.5!
Technical correction.... This has nothing to do with Commercial Extentions. It's all about the license used on those extentions. You can still sell extentions for 1.5 and 1.0X. what you may not be allowed to do is release that extention under a license that is not compatible with GPL. Doesn't need to be GPL itself but compatible with GPL.
If the enforcement of the GPL also effects current version (as stated), how will it be applied to products
that are currently already on the market. Take for instance  HotProperty or mosIPN. Are these developers in
violation with the Joomla! GPL?

There has been no enforcement of the GPL on the part of Joomla. the word enforcement leaves the impression that developers have been forced (via subpeona or threat of) to stop distribution or to change their license. NO ACT OF FORCE has been made to date and the Joomla statements on this issue have been quite clear that they do not intend to FORCE anyone to change or stop distribution of their product but instead will work with developers to find ways to help them comply if they choose to voluntarily do so.  And that offer to work with Developers has been extended even further when it was suggested that once we get to Version2.0 that a more clear and flexible solution towards Joomla licensing might make it possible to legally release under proprietary license for use in Joomla. It is just not possible to achieve that in time for J! 1.5.

Speaking to how it (enforcement if it was attempted) may be applied to products on the market the GPL does speak to this in it's license....
7. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent
infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues),
conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or
otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not
excuse you from the conditions of this License. If you cannot
distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this
License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you
may not distribute the Program at all.
But enforcement does not affect any of your clients purchases. They can still use any program they have bought from a developer provided the honor the terms of the license they bought it under.
4. You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program
except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt
otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is
void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License.
However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under
this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such
parties remain in full compliance.
As long as Users do not distribute the proprietary code they will be in full compliance with the GPL and in full compliance of the proprietary license of the extention. Their purchase is legal to use but the license of that purchase does not automatically become a GPL license. Any enforcement when taken applies strictly to the developer of the project in question not their clients and users.
It is worth noting that the issue of whether a violation occurs applies equally to all extensions, including GPL ones. You cannot be 100% sure without personally performing an audit of all code you use. So pragmatically you are placing your trust in the developer/brand and organisation promoting the work.
I agree with the premise that your trying to get accross but the above sentence may be misinterpreted. It is virtually impossible for a GPL program to violate the license of another GPL program it uses with one exception. Changing or removing the copyright notices of the forked or borrowed code or not properly identifying code changes made in your fork. Even if one of these were challenged the worst that would happen is that you correct the errors not any threat of denied distribution of the project as a whole.

But that said...
There is no reason to suggest that you cannot continue to trust the developers of HotProperty or mosIPN, if they declare their works as non-derivative then they are clearly taking on the legal responsibility. As you would, if you become a distributor of the components/Joomla.
This is an excellent point! I would add any other proprietary developer to that list as well. Joomla has not made any statement in regards to specific proprietary projects only statement in "GENERAL TERMS". No one has made any audits or determinations on any individual projects as to their derived, non derived, violation/compliance with this assesment of J! Joomla/OSM from what I have read and heard has no intentions of doing so anytime soon either. And in addition Joomla can not determine which licenses are incompatible with the GPL. This is the domain of FSF/GNU and only they can address this issue. So even if a program is found to be derivative of Joomla there still will be a question as to whether the license of that derived code is or is not compatible with the GPL. Joomla will have to go by the listings on the FSF site as to what is compatible but GNU/FSF adds licenses to their compatability list as they find them. While it is unlikely that most proprietary licenses will ever get compatible status it is possible that some of these licenses might be compatible or that some as yet unwritten license could be written to be compatible with GPL and yet still allow a reasonable business model for the developer to use.
without the GPL GNU-license I am not allowed to sell my component, so thats not an option.
You do not need to use the GPL license. the only requirement is to use a license that is compatible with the GPL. Question here is does a compatible license exist that allows you to sell product without reasonably making it a free beer product after first purchase. I would have to say at this point in time with the choices available that the answer is no. But you may also find that your project is not derivative and is not limited to these license choices. Only a good copyright lawyer you trust can tell you and even his word is not enough to assure you will never get taken to court. But if you do the statements from J! suggest it most likely won't be them that take you there!
Further, once someone has your program, from any means, whether from you or another person, they have a right to request the source code from you. So if the code is encrypted, you have to provide this to them. If it is not, of course then they already have the code.
I believe this is factually incorrect...This is true if you release the code as a GPL release. While a court may eventually determine that an extention is a derivative and must be licensed under a GPL Compatible license or pulled from distribution only they can force the developer to then release source code to the users who have purchased the product. If the developer chooses to stop distribution then the project is not GPL it is a dead proprietary IP which could be used or changed to be a standalone to correct any license violations and released under the same license at a future date. Violation of the GPL does not remove your copyright to the code you wrote it simply speaks to right to distribute which the GPL says is really all the license is concerned with.
I bring this up because we must be careful to not give the impression that users can demand source code from extention developers on their own causing even more fear in the community. Users can not request source code from any project unless it is GPL (or a similar license) that gives them the right to demand that source code.
Even if a court determines that a program is derivative and should be released under the GPL (or compatible) the court itself is not empowered to change the license on it's own. It still belongs to the owner of the copyright the code is STILL copyright of the owner the only thing the court can determine is do they have a right to distribute that code under the license in question.

and one quibbling point of correction. Only the point of distribution is obligated to provide the source code to users they have distributed to. If I were to distribute Joomla on my own Joomla is not required to provide source to users I have distributed to. It is up to me as required under the license to provide source of code I distribute. (Joomla is a bad example since it is open source but I think you get what I'm trying to say here.)

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re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by erickendrick » Sun Jul 22, 2007 7:27 pm

@MMMedia: Sorry? If your question was on whether 1.5 is faulty? Since Joomla unnecessarily requires extensions to directly reference GPL licensed code, and hence requiring that plugin to be GPL, when its been stated that non-GPL licensed extensions are wanted? Then yes, 1.5 is faulty. Its not a critical fault - the system works, just not as intended, and it only affects proprietary extensions.

@carsten888: This is a legal issue as the situation stands. But, given that the license isn't going to change, and the law isn't going to change, and we are both technical people, then the best chance of us changing the situation is with a technical solution.

@Asphyx: You advice has quite a few assumptions in it that are not firmly founded. Firstly, your license advice is only valid *if* *all* extensions are derivative works. Both the *if* and *all* are debateable points on which there is currently no common agreement. I do agree that if he wants to release sooner and without controversy, he should release the extension under the GPL. The business model of a GPL extension is *very* different from a proprietary extension, and he should research it thoroughly before acting.

Secondly, I don't know what the "force" issue is here, but any well principled business will not gamble that the rights of third parties are not enforced. And again there is an assumption that all extensions must be either GPL or at least unofficially GPL compatible.

Thirdly: Trust in the developer is always necessary - GPL licenses have no special non-violation powers. Improper code use is uncommon and quickly rectified, but that is because of the motivations and values of most open source developers, not because it is "virtually impossible". We shouldn't need to be debating this point: A qualified clarification is completely confusing and could be confused with an obfuscated contradiction, so when trying to communicate you should quite avoid it, as a debate will insue that is counterproductive. So please don't do it.

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Re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by Jenny » Sun Jul 22, 2007 8:01 pm

As I stated before with the links provided http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic ... #msg903620 that there wasn't time for 1.5.  That doesn't make it faulty.  It means that there wasn't time. 

If solutions are wanted 3PDs are going to have to step up to the plate and give up the code to make this want and need (that is in their best interests) a reality.  That is all I was referring to, because I thought that was understood from the other thread, and from your post it seemed we were back at square one again.

Where Joomla! and it's predecessors started has most definitely changed.  Originally it only was a CMS.  That has changed over time, but there is more work to do to get it where the vision is pointing.
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re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by erickendrick » Sun Jul 22, 2007 8:38 pm

[quote MMMedia]That doesn't make it faulty.  It means that there wasn't time.
...
I thought that was understood from the other thread, and from your post it seemed we were back at square one again.
[/quote]

I think we'd both hate to be back at square one, and I can assure you we're not. I'm happy with the conclusion of that thread. Please accept it as a poor use of terminology. As a developer I use emotive terms so often I can overlook their common-sense meaning - If I release a product with 30 defects, it doesn't necessarily mean it is defective software. I wasn't trying to impugn the quality of 1.5 or suggest the core team have to fix it.

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Re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by aoirthoir » Sun Jul 22, 2007 8:39 pm

I believe this is factually incorrect...This is true if you release the code as a GPL release.
Asphyx, Sorry I should have clarified. I meant for programs released with the GNU GPL. My statements should not infer that distribution changes a persons license.
one quibbling point of correction. Only the point of distribution is obligated to provide the source code to users they have distributed to. If I were to distribute Joomla on my own Joomla is not required to provide source to users I have distributed to. It is up to me as required under the license to provide source of code I distribute. (Joomla is a bad example since it is open source but I think you get what I'm trying to say here.)
Actually this applies to any third party. Not just the party you distributed to directly. Here is the relevant portion of the GNU GPL:
  3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it,
under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of
Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:

    a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable
    source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections
    1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software
    interchange; or,  [In this case the code has already been
    distributed with the program, so you do not need to make an offer.
    This is actually typical of PHP programs. The point is not to force you to
    distribute your program, but to make sure that folks who receive a binary
    from your downstream, are able to acquire the source from you.


    b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three
    years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your
    cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete
    machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be
    distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium
    customarily used for software interchange; or,

    c) Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer
    to distribute corresponding source code.  (This alternative is
    allowed only for noncommercial distribution and only if you
    received the program in object code or executable form with such
    an offer, in accord with Subsection b above.) Obviously in
    this case if you are the one writing the program, you did not receive just
    a binary, so this doesnt apply.
Joseph James Frantz

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re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by Asphyx » Sun Jul 22, 2007 11:15 pm

As I said Aoirthor- It was just quibbling...I only stated the corrections because with all the FUD and word twisting that has gone around it is better to clarify as soon as possible! LOL
You advice has quite a few assumptions in it that are not firmly founded. Firstly, your license advice is only valid *if* *all* extensions are derivative works. Both the *if* and *all* are debateable points on which there is currently no common agreement.
Derivation doesn't matter when you release under the GPL. Barely matters when a compatible license is used as well. You could technically change a single line of code in Joomla and release it as a GPL or Compatible license and not be in violation of the GPL license of J!. Not very ethical but it is legal.
I do agree that if he wants to release sooner and without controversy, he should release the extension under the GPL.
You see I'm not saying he has to release as GPL at all...Compatible with GPL is perfectly fine. No one is forced to use the GPL for their projects even if they are wholly derivative. the limitation is GPL OR Compatible. there are quite a few licenses that are not the GPL that developers could use and how derivative it is or not doesn't matter!
A developer could for instance make their own license up and try to make it GPL compatible. This would entail writing a license, sending it to FSF for acceptance as a compatible license and if accepted he has a license he can use for any project made for Joomla no matter how derivative or not the project is.

This derivation issue is a bit overblown if you ask me. It is purely about linkage. GPL denies you to link to GPL programs in proprietary work.
Relevant statement:
This General Public License does not permit incorporating your program into
proprietary programs. If your program is a subroutine library, you may
consider it more useful to permit linking proprietary applications with the
library. If this is what you want to do, use the GNU Library General
Public License instead of this License.
This says to me that proprietary license can be wholly NON-DERIVATIVE and still be in breach of the GPL license when it links to programs that are relased under GPL. Do I like this statement? Not entirely I think allowing proprietary software for use in Joomla is desirable and advantageous to the growth of Joomla but I also think that denying proprietary use of GPL code is very good and important to the protection of the GPL system of doing things. You give me something for free to build with and what I build is also free for others to build with. This is both fair and productive.
If we were talking about a way to make changes to the GPL then we would support changing a few things such as verbatim distribution rights which would allow developers to GPL products without creating free beer. But that isn't something Joomla/OSM nor any developer or user in the world not part of FSF/GNU can do. We have to work on ways around it until that time comes.
Secondly, I don't know what the "force" issue is here, but any well principled business will not gamble that the rights of third parties are not enforced. And again there is an assumption that all extensions must be either GPL or at least unofficially GPL compatible.
By implying that these things are being enforced leaves the impression that action HAS been taken which has not happened. I have stated time and again that until someone enforces something that do this date has not been enforced that nothing has changed. There is no new enforcements planned by Joomla and no one (especially me) is asking somone to assume that no enforcement will ever take place. But that is a far cry than saying the IS new enforcement. Especially when Joomla itself has promised not to enforce at this point in time. I would point out that this THREAT of enforcement has always existed for 3rd party enforcement and it didn't stop anyone from releasing proprietary then...so they have already laid those gamble bets on the table...
Thirdly: Trust in the developer is always necessary - GPL licenses have no special non-violation powers. Improper code use is uncommon and quickly rectified, but that is because of the motivations and values of most open source developers, not because it is "virtually impossible". We shouldn't need to be debating this point: A qualified clarification is completely confusing and could be confused with an obfuscated contradiction, so when trying to communicate you should quite avoid it, as a debate will insue that is counterproductive. So please don't do it.
Pehaps you can cite an example of a GPL code violating the license of another GPL code?

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Re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by Wendy » Sun Jul 22, 2007 11:22 pm

Merged threads by Asphyx and erickendrick into original topic. 
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re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by erickendrick » Mon Jul 23, 2007 1:51 am

carsten is a proprietary extension developer who's just become aware that there is some controversy over proprietary extensions. He has an extension that has taken 2 years to develop, and thinks the license has changed. He wants advice.

It's a good sign of the progress so far that he's received fair advice from a wide selection of the community with very little FUD.

@Asphyx: (deep breath) hooookaaay.
1. Derivation matters if an extension is proprietary. It's premature to assume all extensions will be GPL.
2. IMO GPL compatible variations are irrelevant. Any variation that protects his business by nature isn't GPL compatible.
3. Derivative issue overblown? Not really. A straight breach of the GPL is an issue between a business and the FSF/original copyright holders. When Joomla announce that most extensions are derivative and should be GPL compatible, and you then release a proprietary extension, you are socially at odds with the whole Joomla community. Any other required breach of the GPL in order to create an extension has the same effect.
4. Enforcement. If the police announced that they weren't going to enforce speed limits, does that mean I can drive my car at any speed I want? Technically, yes, but morally no. And if I ran a business that required me to break the speed limits, and everyone knew, would my business be seen as wholesome or just a little shady? And what would happen if some police officer, who didn't get the memo (or was having a bad day), stopped me for speeding? Do you think I'd get away with pleading to the judge that what I did was OK? Thought not. What's changed is that we've put up 50mph speed signs on a stretch of road that most of us drove along at 70mph.  Enforcement will be a hot topic as long as reputable businesses find themselves breaking the rules.
5. "GPL code violations". Simply: GPL code cannot contain non-GPL code, and non-GPL code cannot contain GPL code (and unlicensed non-GPL code). Both bodies of code are capable of improper use. The repeated statement that proprietary extensions need to be audited on a case by case basis is sows FUD, in that it applies to all extensions GPL and non-GPL, plus it is impossible to prove non-infringement by audit (only demonstrate infringement). In the end it boils down to trust. Is the developer reputable or shady?

These points repeatedly underline how important it is that proprietary developers are not thought of as, by definition, somehow disreputable.

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Re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by Jenny » Mon Jul 23, 2007 2:55 am

I don't think any proprietary developer is disreputable.  I also believe that if people feel that strongly about protecting their work then they should be able to do it.  They need to do it in a way that works for everyone though.

My personal opinion on what the problem is and what the solution is are tied together.  Proprietary developers need a way that they can continue what they do without breeching the GPL.  I think they can do this by creating their own LGPL library or libraries (3PDs working together on this for one library would be best because it would create a standard of coding that will only strengthen the solution and give a basis that everyone can work with securely)  that is compatible with the GPL and is the program that links to Joomla!.  Their proprietary software then links to that library.  That way everyone wins.  I may be naive in thinking that this is a workable solution but that is how I come to understand how it could work.  I could be wrong, and I am sure someone will be very quick to correct me if I am.
 
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re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by Asphyx » Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:00 am

1. Derivation matters if an extension is proprietary. It's premature to assume all extensions will be GPL.
No it doesn't. An extention could be non derivative (such as not derived from a GPL library it uses) yet it is still not in compliance for using that GPL library because there is a restriction stated in the GPL License that says can not be incorporated into a proprietary product. Derivation does not matter in that case. the Proprietary code is not derived from the library it uses but is still denied the ability to use that library. use does not allways equate with derived.
. IMO GPL compatible variations are irrelevant. Any variation that protects his business by nature isn't GPL compatible.
Neither you or i can say what is GPL compatible...only the FSF can.
Using or creating a license that is not on their list does not automatically make the license INCOMPATIBLE! That will have to be determined at the time of contention.
Derivative issue overblown? Not really. A straight breach of the GPL is an issue between a business and the FSF/original copyright holders. When Joomla announce that most extensions are derivative and should be GPL compatible, and you then release a proprietary extension, you are socially at odds with the whole Joomla community. Any other required breach of the GPL in order to create an extension has the same effect.
Derivation is only one method of breaching a GPL license. Using libraries does not make a derivative work in most copyright statutes but using GPL libraries in Proprietary licenses is also forbidden. In that example the fact that it is proprietary actually overrides and makes the derivation issue moot. If it is derived it has two strikes against it. If it is simply proprietary it has just that one strike. Even if it is not a derived code it is proprietary and violates the license of the GPL. To give someone the rights to use a library in a proprietary program the library must be LGPL.
Enforcement. If the police announced that they weren't going to enforce speed limits, does that mean I can drive my car at any speed I want? Technically, yes, but morally no. And if I ran a business that required me to break the speed limits, and everyone knew, would my business be seen as wholesome or just a little shady? And what would happen if some police officer, who didn't get the memo (or was having a bad day), stopped me for speeding? Do you think I'd get away with pleading to the judge that what I did was OK? Thought not. What's changed is that we've put up 50mph speed signs on a stretch of road that most of us drove along at 70mph.  Enforcement will be a hot topic as long as reputable businesses find themselves breaking the rules.
You sure are missing the point entirely...
One thing to say you MIGHT get stopped for speeding and quite another thing to say Hey they are stopping people from speeding!
My clarification was meant to correct the notion that Joomla was starting to enforce the license...they have not said they would and said quite the opposite that no lawsuits would be brought. Why continue and perpetuate the scare that people are being FORCED to comply?

I'll give you a counter analogy...
Scientists all say that a really big earthquake might hit San Francisco that will devastate the city. Does that mean everyone should be packing up and leave? Might and IS are two seperate issues. P3PDs should act to protect themselves yes. Not because it's moral or they are under some new threat. the threat and morality was always there! They just chose to ignore both for so long. I appluad thoise who are paying attention to it now. Developers of Mossets has recently made a very good announcement about their intentions in the future. These changes to their system should be voluntary and on their own timeline. even Joomla has recognized the need for this which is why they said they were going to take things slow, not launch any enforcement proceeding and work with developers who wish to comply in how they can do so easily.
Speaking as if or giving the impression enforcement is underway is not productive. It only serves to scare people. We don't need fear right now we need clear heads finding clear solutions!
"GPL code violations". Simply: GPL code cannot contain non-GPL code, and non-GPL code cannot contain GPL code (and unlicensed non-GPL code). Both bodies of code are capable of improper use. The repeated statement that proprietary extensions need to be audited on a case by case basis is sows FUD, in that it applies to all extensions GPL and non-GPL, plus it is impossible to prove non-infringement by audit (only demonstrate infringement). In the end it boils down to trust. Is the developer reputable or shady?
That statement sounds so rediculous I almost don't know where to start...
GPL code NEVER contains non-GPL code. The entire codebase is GPL because it is released under a GPL licensed which makes all the code in that release GPL. So there is no way a GPL program can be in violation of the GPL. It could be inviolation of some other license not related to GPL but that doesn't make it a breach of license of the GPL.
So the notion that both licenses are capable of improper use is just flat out wrong. GPL can use any code proprietary (if licensed) or GPL. And it can not violate the license of any other GPL software because the only way to violate a GPL license is to not release it as GPL.
Last edited by Asphyx on Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: no more commercial components for Joomla 1.5?

Post by carsten888 » Mon Jul 23, 2007 12:49 pm

@ianmac
That is NOT a decision that the Joomla! core team can make.
I see your point, but aslong as the law is totally unclear about this, it would help developers like me to get some guidelines from the Joomla team as to what sort of extension with what sort of license they would appreciate and which one not.

@mcsmom
in this tread you say
Am I allowed to sell extensions?
Yes. The only limitation is that these extensions should be licensed under GNU GPL or a compatible license.
this suggests only GNU GPL license is allowed.

@aoirthoir
Some of the team have stated that stand alone programs that exist fully by themselves without Joomla! might not be derivatives when they tie into Joomla!. So you might want to ask yourself if your extension requires Joomla! to work. If it does, it is most likely a derivative.
My component is a admin-tool. It is behind the Joomla login and is fully integrated in the backend. It uses the Joomla database tables and other tables. It has plugins which introduces a whole new framework for other (3rd or should I say 4th-party) developers to use and develop in. All plugins will be free GNU GPL. Its just the one key-component which ties it all together that I want to get a small fee for to compensate for the hundereds of hours I spent on this.
So, would that be a stadalone application? I guess not, because its behind a Joomla to login. Or can it be seen as standalone when it is not using the Joomla library? If the component has a toolbar (toolbar.com_name.php) it uses Joomla core functions, is it then still considered standalone?
these are the type of questions I hope Joomla can answer for me, because lawyers can't.

@Trijnie
Take for instance  HotProperty or mosIPN. Are these developers in
violation with the Joomla! GPL?
In the list it just says "commercial license". On their site there it does not say anywhere what license they use. This seems typical for most 'commercial' licenced extensions in the extension drectory. Most of them just say "commercial license" and sometimes on their site it says something about that you have to get 2 licensenses if you want to use the extension twice on one domain.
http://www.pages-and-items.com
Admin-Help-Pages, Dynamic-Menu-Links, Admin-Menu-Manager, Access-Manager, Redirect-on-Login, Pages-and-Items, module Admin-Messages, module Logged-in-Users, plugin load module in article, plugin pure css tooltip and more...


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