GNU licence - install on multiple websites

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DavidBoggitt
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GNU licence - install on multiple websites

Postby DavidBoggitt » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:27 am

Hi there,

Am I right in saying that the GNU licence means that if I buy an extension I can install it on as many sites as I want?

I can't expect support (I know some devs work this way), but am I allowed to download updates for these sites?

There's an extension that says I can only get support AND updates for one site with a particular licence, but I don't know if this is right?

Many thanks,

Dave.
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Re: GNU licence - install on multiple websites

Postby sozzled » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:34 am

The GPL does not prevent you installing software on multiple sites, no. If someone says they will only provide support and updates for one website then that's a matter for you and the developer to negotiate. Typically, however, you cannot insist that the developer provide support or updates for software installed in multiple sites that you personally use.

By the same token the developer of software distributed under the GPL cannot demand that you uninstall multiple copies of software that you are personally using. There is a problem if you purchase a software item and you on-sell that product to a third-party (e.g. you install the software on a third person's website irrespective of whether you charge the third party for this service); if you did that you could find yourself on the end of a civil law-suit for damages because, in effect, this would be tantamount to theft. It comes down to the definition of "personal use".

I hope that helps.
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Re: GNU licence - install on multiple websites

Postby DavidBoggitt » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:42 am

Hi,

Many thanks for getting back to me. Isn't that a contradiction though?

1) The GPL does not prevent you installing software on multiple sites.

2) There is a problem if you purchase a software item and you on-sell that product to a third-party (e.g. you install the software on a third person's website irrespective of whether you charge the third party for this service).

Aren't they at odds with one another? Let's say I'm building a website for a friend and not charging them. Can I install an extension I've bought a subscription to, or not?
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Re: GNU licence - install on multiple websites

Postby sozzled » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:07 am

If you purchase an extension then it's for your own personal use. You can install this software on as many sites that you own as you like.

If you are building a website for someone else and you purchase the software then, in order to legitimately conform to the GPL, you need to purchase an additional licence in order to install that product on another person's website. It doesn't matter if you are doing a favour for someone else or whether you are charging someone else to build their site; if you want to install that software on someone else's site then a separate licence/subscription needs to be purchased.

Does that clarify the situation for you?
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Re: GNU licence - install on multiple websites

Postby DavidBoggitt » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:11 am

Yes it does, thanks! :)
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Re: GNU licence - install on multiple websites

Postby brian » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:04 pm

If you are building a website for someone else and you purchase the software then, in order to legitimately conform to the GPL, you need to purchase an additional licence in order to install that product on another person's website. It doesn't matter if you are doing a favour for someone else or whether you are charging someone else to build their site; if you want to install that software on someone else's site then a separate licence/subscription needs to be purchased.


Sorry but that is completely untrue. One of the four fundamental rights of the GPL licence is the freedom to distribute the code.
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Re: GNU licence - install on multiple websites

Postby DavidBoggitt » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:28 pm

Sorry but that is completely untrue. One of the four fundamental rights of the GPL licence is the freedom to distribute the code.


So I can install a commercial extension on as many sites as I want? But I can't expect support? Or updates?

I don't want to deny anyone what's rightly owed to them, nor leave myself open to a lawsuit, unusualy though that may be..!
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Re: GNU licence - install on multiple websites

Postby brian » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:29 pm

Yes
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Re: GNU licence - install on multiple websites

Postby toivo » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:09 pm

In practice you still need exercise care because some developers cover their images, CSS and javascript files with a proprietary use licence and prohibit their redistribution in any form. Extensions may also "phone home" during updates and limit the number of domains to the original membership plan.

If you share your username and password to allow updates to be downloaded during your subscription period, some developers allow logins only from a limited number of IP addresses and automatically suspend the account when the limit is exceeded.
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