Wednesday, 16 November 2011

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There have been a number of comments made about the license change of osCommerce 3.x to the BSD. This post aims to dispel some of the confusion around the change and will hopefully be the primer for a proper FAQ on when I have some time. If there are any questions you have that you would like answered post them here as comments and I will make sure to include them in the official FAQ.

Q. Is the BSD License used compatible with the GNU General Public License?

A. Yes. osCommerce 3.x is using the 3-clause BSD license which is fully compatible with the GNU General Public License

Q. What versions of osCommerce does the BSD License apply to?

A. The BSD License is for osCommerce 3.x

Q. Will osCommerce 2.x still be released under the GNU General Public License?

A. Yes, the license for osCommerce 2.x has not changed

Q. What licence are addons for osCommerce 3.x released under?

A. Developers now have the choice to release their Add-Ons under a BSD compatible license or to continue using the GNU General Public License.

Q. Why change the license?

A. The GNU General Public License has served us well for 11 years however we want to create even more business possibilities and opportunities for store owners, developers, and our community. Changing the licence helps make that possible.

Q. Where can I find out more information about the different licenses?

A. There is an interesting article / video from Redhat which is worth watching You can also check out Wikipedia

Q. Can I use osCommerce 3.x addons released under the GNU General Public License in a binary only/commercial closed source project?

A. No. The change to using the BSD licence for the core of osCommerce doesn't remove the viral part of the GNU General Public License. If you use GNU General Public Licensed code in your project the source code must be provided to comply with the licence. If you want to release a project as binary only then you will not be able to use any addons that are licenced under the GNU General Public License

Q. Can developers release osCommerce 3.x under the GNU General Public License?

A. No. Only osCommerce has the right to change the licensing of the core framework

Q. Can developers include BSD licensed community addons in projects released under the GNU General Public License?

A. Yes. However including BSD code in a GNU General Public License project doesn't change the licence of the code. It is still released under the BSD license.

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