Posted in:Community News
Since its initiation, erxes has used an open-source license to ensure marketing technology is accessible for companies at any level, especially the ones in their early stages and angencies.
What made us change the license in the first place?
On the way to releasing erxes XOS, we changed our license into AGPLv3 from “fair-code distributed GPLv3 with common clause“, if any of you have noticed.
Previously we used GPLv3, GNU General Public License, and on top of that, we used terms called fair-code inspired by Jan Oberhauser and Kenneth Malac. It’s not a license, but a term that helps protect the code creators and essentially means:
“Source code is open, and everyone (individuals and companies) can use it for free privately. But if you want to commercialize it, restrictions may apply in the form of prior permissions and official agreements.”
A common clause is also a license condition drafted by Heather Miller, it also protects the code creators as the source code is free, though it requires permission to host from code creators under the Commons Clause.
However, having these multiple layers of protection complicates the usage of erxes source code openly and limits its growth. Therefore after doing some research including the online meeting with Heather Miller herself, we’ve found a better license to protect our community efforts as well as keep it simple and open to ensure the growth of our product inspired by Cal.com.
What is AGPLv3, and how does the erxes community benefit?
As a result of the AGPLv3 license, erxes can release all code to the community as an open source while retaining more control over the brand, credits, and material.
We were super excited to discover about the benefits of AGPLv3 from Cal.com’s blog, where it says:
- AGPL is designed to ensure corporations contribute back to the open source community even when running the software as a service in the cloud.
- If you used AGPL – licensed code in your web service in the cloud, you are required to open source it. It basically prevents corporations that never had any intention to contribute to open source from profiting from the open source work.
- It explicitly prohibits corporations from parasitically competing with an open-source project. They won’t be able to take the code, make changes to it and sell it as a competing product without contributing those changes back to the original project.
Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the GNU project state:
“We recommend that people consider using the GNU AGPL for any software which will commonly be run over a network.”
“If it is likely that others will make improved versions of your program to run on servers and not distribute their versions to anyone else, and you’re concerned that this will put your released version at a disadvantage, we recommend the GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL). The AGPL’s terms are almost identical to the GPL’s; the sole substantive difference is that it has an extra condition to ensure that people who use the software over a network will be able to get the source code for it.”
Open-sourcing our Enterprise Edition
Additionally, we’ve decided to open-source our Enterprise Edition (short “/ee”). The code base of the/ee version is licensed under our Enterprise License, which you can obtain on our enterprise package. The content of the /ee folder is copyrighted, and you are not allowed to use this code to host your own version of erxes without obtaining a proper license first.
We hope it gives you an insight into why we changed our license and the benefits of AGPL can help you make your decision right.
Let’s enjoy the AGPLv3 adventures together!