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Joomla Licencing

Posted on 2008-06-09
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Last Modified: 2013-11-19
I have seen in Joomla website that it cant be used for commercial purpose. So can I use a website built using Joomla for commercial purpose?
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Question by:ShreyaTrivedi
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11 Comments
 
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 21746718
Hi ShreyaTrivedi,

Yes.  The SNU GPL covers modifications and redistribution to the Joomla! software but you are free to install it on a commercial site.
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:CMYScott
ID: 21746742
You simply can't make changes to the underlying code and then sell it for commercial purposes.
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 21746805
No, I don't think that's true.  From the GNU GPL FAQ:

______________________________

Why does the GPL permit users to publish their modified versions?

    A crucial aspect of free software is that users are free to cooperate. It is absolutely essential to permit users who wish to help each other to share their bug fixes and improvements with other users.

    Some have proposed alternatives to the GPL that require modified versions to go through the original author. As long as the original author keeps up with the need for maintenance, this may work well in practice, but if the author stops (more or less) to do something else or does not attend to all the users' needs, this scheme falls down. Aside from the practical problems, this scheme does not allow users to help each other.

    Sometimes control over modified versions is proposed as a means of preventing confusion between various versions made by users. In our experience, this confusion is not a major problem. Many versions of Emacs have been made outside the GNU Project, but users can tell them apart. The GPL requires the maker of a version to place his or her name on it, to distinguish it from other versions and to protect the reputations of other maintainers.

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0-faq.html#DoesTheGPLAllowMoney

"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.)

"Does the GPL allow me to charge a fee for downloading the program from my site?"

Yes. You can charge any fee you wish for distributing a copy of the program. If you distribute binaries by download, you must provide "equivalent access" to download the source--therefore, the fee to download source may not be greater than the fee to download the binary.

______________________________

What the GNU GPL allows is the holder of the copy can redistribute it for free, even if he or she paid for it.  So if you modify the code (allowed) and sell it (also allowed), the buyer can post the sold copy for free (allowed).  What the seller could not do is change the terms of the license to prohibit reposting after sale.
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:scrathcyboy
ID: 21748001
There is a little confusion here, perhaps.  The Joomla code itself is FREE to use on commercial websites, and yes, you can change it.  However, there are hundreds of Joomla add ons.  Those are NOT free.  In fact, people make a lot of money selling Joomla add ons.  If you are looking at one of these sites, yes you will see a notice that it cannot be modified or used on a commercial site without licensing.  That is the ADD on talking to you.  The underlying Joomla code is totally free to use, else how could people create add ons and sell them?  They are not paying the Joomla people a royalty.  Their code is separate from Joomla.
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Author Comment

by:ShreyaTrivedi
ID: 21749475
Suppose I purchase a  Joomla add on. Then is it necessary for the add on seller to provide me the GPL copy along with his add on? (as per the below question posted in FAQ -

Why does the GPL require including a copy of the GPL with every copy of the program?
Including a copy of the license with the work is vital so that everyone who gets a copy of the program can know what his rights are.
It might be tempting to include a URL that refers to the license, instead of the license itself. But you cannot be sure that the URL will still be valid, five years or ten years from now. Twenty years from now, URLs as we know them today may no longer exist.

The only way to make sure that people who have copies of the program will continue to be able to see the license, despite all the changes that will happen in the network, is to include a copy of the license in the program. )

And if it is necessary then how can I know whether the seller has built the site using Joomla? As a non-technical person, I will simply ask the designer to build a website for me. Then how can I know whether he used Joomla or not ? Then how can I assure to get the GPL copy?
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 21753808
The add ons may be covered by a different license than Joomla itself.  That's what scratchyboy is referring to.
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Author Comment

by:ShreyaTrivedi
ID: 21756330
My question is :
Suppose I purchase a  Joomla add on. Then is it necessary for the add on seller to provide me the GPL copy along with his add on?
0
 
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 21756520
No. The add on merely hooks into the Joomla code with its own code. The add on is not necessarily part of the GPL
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 21756693
To clarify...

Joomla itself is covered by the GPL.  Joomla add-ons MAY be covered by the GPL, but each one is different.
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Author Comment

by:ShreyaTrivedi
ID: 21756892
So I must verify that the add-on is covered by GPL, right?
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Accepted Solution

by:
Jason C. Levine earned 500 total points
ID: 21757078
Yes, or that whatever license it is covered by allows you to redistribute for profit.
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