GPL Questions Continued, User related

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GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by Robin » Sat Jun 16, 2007 8:45 am

GPL Questions Continued, User related

Two new topics have been opened. They will both be for answering questions surrounding our GPL/Licensing announcement.  The moderators will have normal control over what happens in these threads and the regular rules apply.  No nonsense, just intelligent questions and answers.

It's not allowed to edit your own post so that it conveys another meaning after editing. No bashing, no name calling, none of that.

We would like to keep this clean and productive for everyone.

Old thread: http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic,163492.0.html

GPL Questions Continued, User related >> http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic,181172.0.html
GPL Questions Continued, Developer related >> http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic,181173.0.html
Last edited by Robin on Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by mcsmom » Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:19 am

In my FAQ writer role, not my OSM role, and having seen a lot of confusion in the other thread, I'll start this by giving some questions and answers.

I have commercial or proprietary extensions installed on my site. Do I have to remove them?

No.
The licensing issue has nothing at all to do with actual web sites.

Can I be sued for using a commercial or propriety extension?

No.
The licensing issue has to do with the development of extensions, not with individual websites.

I use a commercial or proprietary extension. Does this announcement mean I am free to copy and redistribute that extension?

No. All copyright and rules for the licenses that come with a particular extension still apply. The developers of each extension will have to make decisions about whether to make their licenses  GPL in the future.

What practical difference will a switch to GPL have for me?

Under GPL you will legally be able to modify the extension program in any way you like as long as you leave the licensing and copyright information in place.

Under GPL, once you have the open source program, you are allowed to redistribute it. This includes using multiple copies on your own site.

As a practical matter, how you use this is up to you. But it means among other things that
  • You can fix bugs as you find them
  • You can customize an application in any way you want.
  • If a developer stops working on the application you or someone else can continue development without fear of any legal consequences.
  • You can hire someone who is not the developer to perform any of the above functions.
So we must fix our vision not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but upon the positive affirmation of peace. MLK 1964.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by Chris Davenport » Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:32 am

Let's see if I can pre-emptively answer the question I think most users have been asking.

Q: I'm a user with a Joomla! website that contains one or more proprietary extensions.  Does this mean I have to stop using those extensions?

A: No.  The GPL licence that Joomla! is distributed under guarantees your right to use or modify Joomla! in any way you want.  That includes adding proprietary code into it, even proprietary extensions obtained from third-party developers.  The whole point of the GPL is to defend your rights as a user.

You would only be violating the GPL if you attempted to distribute Joomla! with the proprietary code.  But then if you bought your extensions under a proprietary licence you'd probably be violating that licence too.  So as long as you don't distribute the code you have nothing to worry about.

I hope this helps clear up any confusion out there.

Regards,
Chris.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by jcracknell » Sat Jun 16, 2007 12:06 pm

Sorry but I feel the real question is this.....

Will users now find that their developer stops supporting their component because their developer was mislead regarding licensing? ie. the inclusion then removal of the rider & support from Mambo...

Perhaps.

Will users move away from Joomla because of the poor attitude shown towards these developers and their freedom of choice being curtailed.

Some.

I only came to Joomla because 3 developers offered the components I required for my websites, however because the powers that be don't agree with their business model.

I know we have the GPL vs non-GPL argument but you have to admit without these developers we wouldn't have had the high number of installs......

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by MuffinDCC » Sat Jun 16, 2007 12:12 pm

That question can only really be answered by the individual developers themselves.

Not all "commerical" development is going to stop suddenly.

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by smalcolm » Sat Jun 16, 2007 12:19 pm

Chris Davenport wrote: Let's see if I can pre-emptively answer the question I think most users have been asking.

Q: I'm a user with a Joomla! website that contains one or more proprietary extensions.  Does this mean I have to stop using those extensions?

A: No.  The GPL licence that Joomla! is distributed under guarantees your right to use or modify Joomla! in any way you want.  That includes adding proprietary code into it, even proprietary extensions obtained from third-party developers.  The whole point of the GPL is to defend your rights as a user.
Does this hold for the future too? i.e. is this an 'amnesty' for sites that are currently live with non-gpl extensions, or will it always be ok to launch a J! site in the future with non-gpl extensions?

Also, does anyone know what the plans are for the extensions directory?  My concerns are that a) it contains non-gpl extenstions - will these be removed? any idea of when this will happen? will we be fore-warned? I use the directory lots and wouldnt like to see a bunch of extensions disappear unexpectedly, and b) as I understand the directly itself is running on non-gpl code. Will tthis be changed? if so when? and will this happen with no down-time?

questions, questions...

Thanks in advance!
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by mcsmom » Sat Jun 16, 2007 12:36 pm

smalcolm wrote:

Also, does anyone know what the plans are for the extensions directory?  My concerns are that a) it contains non-gpl extenstions - will these be removed? any idea of when this will happen? will we be fore-warned? I use the directory lots and wouldnt like to see a bunch of extensions disappear unexpectedly, and b) as I understand the directly itself is running on non-gpl code. Will tthis be changed? if so when? and will this happen with no down-time?

questions, questions...

Thanks in advance!
The extensions directory is one of the issues we are continuing to work on. Research is still being done on what the options are. In addition to dealing with what is listed in the directory, we are dealing with license issues around the extension that runs the directory and that is actually our bigger priority. The people who run our sites are committed to having high quality user friendly structures and any downtime will be very limited, though as with anything involving software, you can never promise perfection.
Whatever happens with the directory, there will be plenty of notice.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by mcsmom » Sat Jun 16, 2007 12:39 pm

smalcolm wrote:

Does this hold for the future too? i.e. is this an 'amnesty' for sites that are currently live with non-gpl extensions, or will it always be ok to launch a J! site in the future with non-gpl extensions?

The licensing issue has nothing to do with individual sites that are not redistributing their version of Joomla!. No amnesty is needed because GPL is not an issue for end users, except, as said above, it enables them to modify/cusomize/bug fix the source.

modified to fix the nested quotes.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by Chris Davenport » Sat Jun 16, 2007 12:45 pm

smalcolm wrote: Also, does anyone know what the plans are for the extensions directory?  My concerns are that a) it contains non-gpl extenstions - will these be removed? any idea of when this will happen? will we be fore-warned? I use the directory lots and wouldnt like to see a bunch of extensions disappear unexpectedly, and b) as I understand the directly itself is running on non-gpl code. Will tthis be changed? if so when? and will this happen with no down-time?
Just to add to what mcsmom has said (beat me to it).

The fact that we are using proprietary extensions on our websites does not put us in violation of the GPL.  But it does set a bad example and we are acutely aware of that.  We will be asking the developers of those extensions to bring them into compliance.

Regards,
Chris.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by mattm » Sat Jun 16, 2007 3:22 pm

And this will continue till u get what really means GPL, and what not. Cant one template 5 years ago to be released as GPL for Mambo (bcz 5 years ago Joomla even was not dreamed), nova days to be sold for 40 USD by Student Designs or someone else !
This is a good point since a template is considered to be only part GPL (aka.index.php) It is then reasonable to presume that if infact someone takes a template that is realeased as GPL. Simple but effective changes can be made to css and image files . Then the template can then be released as a commercial template? with out complying with the GPL?

Its not considered piracy because its released as GPL. Its also been Stated if a work is based on a GPL released works then it must also comply to the GPL...

All templates for that matter are works based on older versions of templates. When people ask how do I make a template?
Well the simplest answer is look at the code( which I know is not considered to be based on) of another one or in may cases use the code and modify to your liking especially if its GPL.
once the GPL has been compromised and the template deemed commercial licensed? What happened to the original GPL?

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by n0fear2 » Sat Jun 16, 2007 7:20 pm

Sorry dudes! I make Websites since the beginning of mambo with it and after that with joomla. And i really do not understand why you guys stop good components and the development of those whith this! Sorry if someone has an nice idea and creates a nice component, like for example clexus which we are using on our site (because there is simply no single other pms that is like this)  i do pay for this and i like to do this. And yes i gave some money to the joomla project by paypal a several time too - and sorry i think this will completly break and slow down everything related to joomla!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  >:(

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by Jenny » Sat Jun 16, 2007 7:21 pm

A post was removed that contained offensive language.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by Robin » Sat Jun 16, 2007 7:43 pm

Moderator note; this reply has been removed, as I stated at the start of this thread, this is for questions on the GPL announcement. Not to continue the old thread and the yes/no voting, and sharing opinions. Please remain on topic!
n0fear2 wrote: YES!
I think that commercial developers should be able to use non-GPL licenses for their components and choose their own business model..

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by MuffinDCC » Sat Jun 16, 2007 7:58 pm

n0fear2 wrote: Sorry dudes! I make Websites since the beginning of mambo with it and after that with joomla. And i really do not understand why you guys stop good components and the development of those whith this! Sorry if someone has an nice idea and creates a nice component, like for example clexus which we are using on our site (because there is simply no single other pms that is like this)  i do pay for this and i like to do this. And yes i gave some money to the joomla project by paypal a several time too - and sorry i think this will completly break and slow down everything related to joomla!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  >:(
Extension development is not going to just stop. There is still a massive assortment of components etc... some of which are already GPL. There will be others that will fill in the void by the small amount of developers who have "left"  :)

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by Robin » Sat Jun 16, 2007 8:18 pm

Moderator note; off topic reply from jcracknell deleted

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by eyezberg » Sat Jun 16, 2007 8:42 pm


User question: say there are sometime soon more/lots of commercial GPL components.
Them being GPL, I'd surely have the right to distribute them after buying if I wanted?

So here's the business plan:
I create a site with paid membership.
Up to X users, I ask a fee of (hypotetical) $100.
Once there are more than Y members, it gets lowered to $50.
When the site reaches Z members, it goes down to $10 and so on..
The money cashed by signups gets used to buy components.
The more members, the less each member has to pay for any extension they want (just add to wishlist for next purchase), and all members get access to all commercial extensions bought so far because it's GPL and my right!
I might even open up downloads to non-members at some point or for selected extensions to draw more signups..
Sounds like a plan?
And as the extensions were legally bought, access to their members-only support,exclusives etc is available also!

Good luck with a commercial 3rd party extensions business model anyone...
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by facedancer » Sat Jun 16, 2007 8:44 pm

n0fear2 wrote: Sorry dudes! I make Websites since the beginning of mambo with it and after that with joomla. And i really do not understand why you guys stop good components and the development of those whith this! Sorry if someone has an nice idea and creates a nice component, like for example clexus which we are using on our site (because there is simply no single other pms that is like this)  i do pay for this and i like to do this. And yes i gave some money to the joomla project by paypal a several time too - and sorry i think this will completly break and slow down everything related to joomla!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  >:(
I hope I catch why you're not happy with the Joomla! beeing GPL - you probably think that it doesn't allow commercial developers to sell their products.
Let me quote Free Software Foundation FAQ about GPL and money (http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/g ... AllowMoney)
Does the GPL allow me to sell copies of the program for money?
    Yes, the GPL allows everyone to do this. The right to sell copies is part of the definition of free software. Except in one special situation, there is no limit on what price you can charge. (The one exception is the required written offer to provide source code that must accompany binary-only release.)
The fact that Joomla! extensions have to be GPL does not mean that extension developers can't get paid for their work. Take a look, for example, at RedHat, they're selling Red Hat Enterprise Linux for real money and they seem to be quite happy with all that GPL stuff :P.
Moreover, we didn't change anything, Joomla! was, is and will be GPL from the day one till the end of the world :)

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by facedancer » Sat Jun 16, 2007 8:53 pm

eyezberg wrote:
User question: say there are sometime soon more/lots of commercial GPL components.
Them being GPL, I'd surely have the right to distribute them after buying if I wanted?

So here's the business plan:
I create a site with paid membership.
Up to X users, I ask a fee of (hypotetical) $100.
Once there are more than Y members, it gets lowered to $50.
When the site reaches Z members, it goes down to $10 and so on..
The money cashed by signups gets used to buy components.
The more members, the less each member has to pay for any extension they want (just add to wishlist for next purchase), and all members get access to all commercial extensions bought so far because it's GPL and my right!
I might even open up downloads to non-members at some point or for selected extensions to draw more signups..
Sounds like a plan?
And as the extensions were legally bought, access to their members-only support,exclusives etc is available also!

Good luck with a commercial 3rd party extensions business model anyone...
That's the spirit!
Quite important for me is that the users might fix/add features on their own and give you code back so you end doing nothing and getting your swimming pool stuffed with money.
[me=facedancer]nicks the idea, will allow him to buy an island or two next year if he'll try hard.[/me]

Post is a bit off-topic, shouldn't go to the dev one btw? :)

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by eyezberg » Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:15 pm

Dunno, setting up a site to redistribute isn't really developing..?
And it's not about making $$ (why lower membership then?), it's about (ab?)using the GPL to share commercial extensions. In this light, devs might be interested in this plan indeed though.. :)
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by Toni Marie » Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:33 pm

I think this thread is moving in the direction of worrying about how the developers of third party extensions will make money.  Getting back to how it affects users... it only makes things better (allowing users to freely fix the extensions they have installed) and will never cause a problem (Joomla! and OSM will never question your use of an extension, even if it violates the OSM/Joomla! license.  Their only beef will be with the guy who programmed it and gave it to you.)

If you want to discuss the actual development of the software and business model... try the fork for developers : http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic,181173.0.html

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by n0fear2 » Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:52 am

facedancer wrote:
n0fear2 wrote: Sorry dudes! I make Websites since the beginning of mambo with it and after that with joomla. And i really do not understand why you guys stop good components and the development of those whith this! Sorry if someone has an nice idea and creates a nice component, like for example clexus which we are using on our site (because there is simply no single other pms that is like this)  i do pay for this and i like to do this. And yes i gave some money to the joomla project by paypal a several time too - and sorry i think this will completly break and slow down everything related to joomla!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  >:(
I hope I catch why you're not happy with the Joomla! beeing GPL - you probably think that it doesn't allow commercial developers to sell their products.
Let me quote Free Software Foundation FAQ about GPL and money (http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/g ... AllowMoney)
Does the GPL allow me to sell copies of the program for money?
    Yes, the GPL allows everyone to do this. The right to sell copies is part of the definition of free software. Except in one special situation, there is no limit on what price you can charge. (The one exception is the required written offer to provide source code that must accompany binary-only release.)
The fact that Joomla! extensions have to be GPL does not mean that extension developers can't get paid for their work. Take a look, for example, at RedHat, they're selling Red Hat Enterprise Linux for real money and they seem to be quite happy with all that GPL stuff :P.
Moreover, we didn't change anything, Joomla! was, is and will be GPL from the day one till the end of the world :)
Yes but maybe i did not understand this hole thing right but developers must do all components under gpl.. so they have to release sourcecode and everything and one single user who gets the code can make it avail for free... do you think people would buy for example Windows XP with the source would be everywhere for legal in the net? Sorry if i get something wrong but in my opinion as a user since back of the days of the first mambo releases, it is a stepp backwards... Joomla is nice for sure, but i am sure that alot of other users keeped on joomla because they could buy the components they needed to make their wishes true. And what i see now is that alot of developers stopped developping for joomla allready in the last days. Sure it makes a difference if they get like from 500 customers 20 $ or from 50 that redistribute the code in the net.

In my opinon it should be free for every developer what he gets for his own work and how he does licening it. It should be a free market of supply and demand. And yes, i supported some developers with free components we use for our sites too with some money but i am sure, most people only take and do not even give one penny, so i do understand developers that crypt their code so others dont redistribute it.  Its like everything in it-business - most things are only as good as their components or the software available for it. I understand that it is not allowed to redistribute code from others but maybe i am wrong when i think most developers of components build up their own code.

Last but not least i really think forcing commercial developers in this way will harm joomla in the future and will stop alot of nice components that users would have expected in the future. Not to forget, that we talk about components mostly sold for less then 50$ or even much more cheaper - i don't believe any developer ever will get a millionaer with this!
Last edited by n0fear2 on Sun Jun 17, 2007 1:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by Goosemoose » Sun Jun 17, 2007 1:34 am

So, if I read all this correctly, the Joomla-SMF bridge and a ton of other bridges that connect Joomla with Non GPL programs are no longer going to be allowed to exist. I noticed that the bridge was already removed. It looks like it's time to move back to Mambo as there's no way a dozen of my sites can survive without the bridges. There goes thousands of hours of work on custom components I made for joomla too!
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by n0fear2 » Sun Jun 17, 2007 1:43 am

Goosemoose wrote: So, if I read all this correctly, the Joomla-SMF bridge and a ton of other bridges that connect Joomla with Non GPL programs are no longer going to be allowed to exist. I noticed that the bridge was already removed. It looks like it's time to move back to Mambo as there's no way a dozen of my sites can survive without the bridges. There goes thousands of hours of work on custom components I made for joomla too!
Seems so, we use smf-bridge too on some of our sites. Well i hope the Core team will rethink their conclusion, as it will for sure be a step backward.

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by Goosemoose » Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:03 am

I have heard that mambo is planning to announce they aren't going this force GPL route which is VERY confusing since the logic of joomla is that they were based off of mambo. I'm at a total loss here, I feel like I've been betrayed again. So many sites will have to be completely redone!
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by n0fear2 » Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:13 am

Yeahhh i always thought "Joomla" means "for all" or something like this, and i can not understand why the developers now do not ask the users. No user would ever pay a penny to a useless component so why not let the users decide what they need and what not! In my personal opinion its just a matter of $$$ like most things in the world. Maybe my post will be deleted, but i guess google ads or sponsors will do alot for joomla.org and the core team. I dont think its a really zero job - and nothing keeps you to make it like other projects - like openXchange for example to let people/firms pay for support for joomla itself! I think those developers are just not wanted because they make some money with "joomla" - sure most woul not be able to sell those components without joomla and the core development but guys why don't you just grudge them those few $ as joomla itself would not be there where it is now without all those developers! Users should judge what they want - and should at least have the decission about using a free component or buy one. And yes i understood in the meantime that GPL can be sold too, but most "little" 3rd party developers wont be able to change their licence to gpl as they will not get even 10% of the money they get now! Not to forget bridges to other non GPL software like SMF - what should users do that need a working forum? Wait month until the next component is done under GPL? That can not really be the way you want it? or?

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by brad » Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:48 am

n0fear2 wrote: Seems so, we use smf-bridge too on some of our sites. Well i hope the Core team will rethink their conclusion, as it will for sure be a step backward.
Or SMF will decide to release a GPL version...
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by pizzicar » Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:49 am

My biggest issue is the uncertainty right now. Like many of you, I use SMF a lot. I have a few commercial components on several of my websites. I was starting a new site tonight and found the SMF bridge pulled. At this point, I don't know which components will stay or which I will need to find replacements for - (not that easy as the reason I was using commercial was that there was not a good viable GPL option). All I can do right now is take a wait and see approach and hope that it works out in the end. In the interim, I'm torn about my new sites I am planning - Stay and hope or move on and try something new....

I do plan to contact the owners of the non-gpl'd components I use and let them know that are guys like me out there and that there is still a market for them if they can make the switch - but I fear for the smaller guys that won't be enough.

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by brad » Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:52 am

Goosemoose wrote: I have heard that mambo is planning to announce they aren't going this force GPL route which is VERY confusing since the logic of joomla is that they were based off of mambo. I'm at a total loss here, I feel like I've been betrayed again. So many sites will have to be completely redone!
No sites need to be redone.. try to keep calm and read all the info we have been sharing with you.

If Mambo chooses to not go the GPL route, good for them. We, on the other hand, are proud to enbrace the GPL/opensource route.

Mambo is not Joomla. The team that used to develop Mambo moved the project and renamed it Joomla. Mambo now, is a new project, independent to Joomla. This is all history... OLD history..
Brad Baker
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https://www.joomlatutorials.com <-- Joomla Help & Tutorials

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by pizzicar » Sun Jun 17, 2007 3:03 am

brad wrote: No sites need to be redone.. try to keep calm and read all the info we have been sharing with you.
I have read the information and understand that as an end user, I don't need to remove the component - but if the component winds up getting orphaned then I do need to do something as I can't risk security issues from a non-maintained component. Don't get me wrong, I think that in the long term, this is the right decision for Joomla - it's just that in the short term, there is some pain for us non-technical end users.

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by brad » Sun Jun 17, 2007 3:07 am

pizzicar wrote: I have read the information and understand that as an end user, I don't need to remove the component - but if the component winds up getting orphaned then I do need to do something as I can't risk security issues from a non-maintained component. Don't get me wrong, I think that in the long term, this is the right decision for Joomla - it's just that in the short term, there is some pain for us non-technical end users.
Noted, we're doing all we can to gather and make information like this available.. look out for more blogs/posts from us on the subject.
Brad Baker
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https://www.joomlatutorials.com <-- Joomla Help & Tutorials


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