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commercial license? 
 
NoStressCommer
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from blog:

For organization seeking to waive the OSL 3.0 license requirement to disclose such changes for derivative works, Varien offers a Magento commercial license.

any other information about commercial license?

 
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RoyRubin
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Please contact us directly for information - http://www.magentocommerce.com/company/contact-us

Thanks smile

 
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tjscgroup
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I have also just sent you a message to request the cost of a commercial license.

Although most/all of the work I plan on getting my developers to do, I am happily going to release as extensions via MagentoConnect (with the hope that Varien will actually add them to the core), I am not totally convinced that I want my competitors to be able to request as one easy .tar file my whole online business!!

 
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RoyRubin
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thanks Toby. A member of our team will get in touch shortly.

 
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i960
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tjscgroup - 24 October 2008 05:26 AM

I am not totally convinced that I want my competitors to be able to request as one easy .tar file my whole online business!!

Can this be clarified Roy?  I have the same concern.  Does the license require that I disclose and release to the public every change I’ve made to my online store?  Honestly, I don’t want my competitors or customers to even know I am using Magento, let alone have access to any of the modifications I’ve made.  I have already added HTTP basic authentication to the admin and downloader sections on top of the existing authentication system so that competitors won’t stumble across those URL’s and see the Magento branding.  I know I can just change the admin skin to take care of that, but I’d rather leave it alone and not make changes.

 
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RoyRubin
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Here’s a breakdown:

- Extensions (typically found in the local/community folders): These works can be licensed under any license of your choosing. This means you can do as you wish with your works that are started from scratch.

- Core Code (including Varien JS files): These files are licensed under OSL 3.0. If you touch these files it is considered derivative works. If such derivative works are distributed (ie. your store is available online) - you will have to license your changes under OSL 3.0 and thus make them publicly available. This is where the commercial license comes in - if you are not prepared to distribute and share the source code of your application under the OSL license, we do offer a commercial license which waives this requirement.

- As of the next release (1.1.7+), we will relax Magento’s licensing to make clear that your own versions of Magento’s default design packages (templates, themes, layouts, skins), language packs, and configuration files, including XML files used to direct Magento’s functionality, although they are derivative works of Magento under copyright law, need not be disclosed to anyone. As such, those files will be licensed by Varien under AFL 3.0. We’ve started doing this as you can see here - http://www.magentocommerce.com/blog/comments/magento-connect-relaxed-licensing-to-selected-extensions/

 
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tjscgroup
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RoyRubin - 24 October 2008 10:48 AM

- Extensions (typically found in the local/community folders): These works can be licensed under any license of your choosing. This means you can do as you wish with your works that are started from scratch.

Although I am no developer, from my understanding the problem is that many (perhaps the majority) of work that is added to the community or local folders will not be started from scratch i.e. you would copy /core/example.php to /local/example.php then edit /local/example.php.

 
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i960
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Thanks Roy, that helps a bit.  To clarify, I have no intention on touching any core files whatsoever.  One of the things I like most about Magento is the fact that modifications can be done in the /local folder while the core is left untouched.  I hate the fact that in osCommerce you pretty much have to modify core files to do anything.  I have stressed to my employer that I refuse to touch core code because it can break our ability to easily upgrade and could cause other problems.

My store will be modified quite a bit. 90% of the modifications will be to the templates.  If I am understanding you correctly, I can modify these as I please without any need to disclose.  The rest of the modifications for the most part will be provided by extensions.  So far every extension I am using has been released via Magento Connect under the OSL license.  Since the code is already publicly available and distributed under the OSL license, does that release my liability to release it myself?  What I was worried about is if I install for instance “Customer Activation” (http://www.magentocommerce.com/extension/489/customer-activation) then I would have put somewhere on my online store that I am using that extension and provide the source code for it.  As you can imagine, that would be completely ridiculous to do.

tjscgroup brings up a good point.  I have a handful of very minor modifications that I have done by copying core files to the local folders and making changes there.  The changes are tiny and most of them are based on forum posts to fix bugs or slightly change default behavior.  Do these modifications have to be disclosed, and if so, how and where?

 
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tjscgroup
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i960 - 24 October 2008 11:24 AM

Do these modifications have to be disclosed, and if so, how and where?

I am not sure if there have been any test cases but to answer you:
- if I were to ask to see these changes, you are obliged to give them to me in a machine readable format
- if you don’t give them to me, you are basically saying that you are not going to abide by the OSL license and as this is the license Varion has released Magento under, you would not be allowed to continue using the software...business over!!
- then of course if I felt like it, I could take you to court and force you to give me the code and of course pay for my legal fees

Roy, do you agree?

 
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lotusseedsD
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Roy,
Based on the ‘Relaxed Licensing to Selected Extensions’ article, my understanding is Magento Theme Design falls under AFL 3.0, so if I sell Magento Theme, I don’t need to purchase the commercial license to avoid disclosing my theme files.

p/s. A side question: How come the ‘default theme’ that comes with every Magento download isn’t in the AFL 3.0 list? Does this meant this theme is still OSL 3.0 and that if my themes are based on the default, it will have to be OSL 3.0 with a Commercial license as an option?

RoyRubin - 24 October 2008 10:48 AM

Here’s a breakdown:

- Extensions (typically found in the local/community folders): These works can be licensed under any license of your choosing. This means you can do as you wish with your works that are started from scratch.

‘Started from scratch’ is a really fuzzy concept and defination in my understanding. Take the concern of developing Magento theme I have for example.
In this thread, #37, I wrote about ‘a piece of js code in one page/shipping.phtml’ that I cannot see how I can delete it or ‘invent’ my own code to make the shipping page works, and I need it to be intact (without modification of the code) in my theme for restricted distribution (single domain license for example). So that was the doubt I had and is still a bit concern with.

Maybe another better example is ‘sendfriend/send.phtml’, in the very top, there is a js code that add extra new recipient. The html codes are embedded directly to the js code. I wanted to improve the layout for add recipient section, and I wanted to remote all those <br /> tags and make the markup a bit cleaner, so I must modify the ‘js code’, and that means I have make a derivative works ? Or not?

 
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RoyRubin
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Although I am no developer, from my understanding the problem is that many (perhaps the majority) of work that is added to the community or local folders will not be started from scratch i.e. you would copy /core/example.php to /local/example.php then edit /local/example.php.

This is considered derivative work then. Copyright law is pretty clear on this. More information can be found here - http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/6366

So far every extension I am using has been released via Magento Connect under the OSL license.

The license is up to the contributor. You may want to contact the contributor and make aware the issue from your perspective. Bottom line is that we don’t have control over code we didn’t write nor own the copyright.

I have a handful of very minor modifications that I have done by copying core files to the local folders and making changes there.  The changes are tiny and most of them are based on forum posts to fix bugs or slightly change default behavior.  Do these modifications have to be disclosed, and if so, how and where?

If you do in fact have derivative works, you will need to license your changes under the OSL license. In terms of where to publish them - it doesn’t really matter as long as its publicly available. The commercial license bypasses this need, as explained in a previous post.

if I sell Magento Theme, I don’t need to purchase the commercial license to avoid disclosing my theme files.

The AFL license does not require you to disclose derivative work. As such, you do not need to purchase a commercial license if you want to keep your changes.

How come the ‘default theme’ that comes with every Magento download isn’t in the AFL 3.0 list?

As of 1.1.7 the default theme will be licensed under AFL 3.0. It wasn’t listed because its not part of the Magento Connect Interface.

‘Started from scratch’ is a really fuzzy concept and defination in my understanding.

This isn’t up to us - its about copyright law.

 
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i960
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RoyRubin - 24 October 2008 12:51 PM

If you do in fact have derivative works, you will need to license your changes under the OSL license. In terms of where to publish them - it doesn’t really matter as long as its publicly available. The commercial license bypasses this need, as explained in a previous post.

Then I will have no choice but to remove these modifications or pay for a license.  I haven’t used any code that isn’t already posted in these forums, but it isn’t clear to me whether that constitutes publicly available or not.  And since I didn’t write the code, it wouldn’t be my place to package them up as an extension and put it up on Magento Connect or anywhere else.  That would be taking credit for someone else’s work.

The license is up to the contributor. You may want to contact the contributor and make aware the issue from your perspective. Bottom line is that we don’t have control over code we didn’t write nor own the copyright.

That would be fine for extensions that were written from scratch.  But I’m sure there are some that would be considered derivative works because they are simply modifications of core files.  They are then released under the OSL license as they should be.  I guess my question is if using these derivative works in my store would be considered making a derivative work myself, since my copy of Magento has at that point been modified.

I just want to be clear that I am not trying to find a loophole in the license or take credit for other peoples work or even hide the fact that I am using other peoples work.  I have zero issue with giving credit where credit is due and I have zero issue with releasing to the community any changes I make myself.  But I do have an issue with posting this information directly on the website where I am using Magento, which is what I thought the license was requiring me to do.  My customers don’t need to know what software I am using to run the store or know what changes I have made.  I would also have issue if like tjscgroup said, my competitors were able to needlessly run up legal bills by essentially asking for a complete copy of my store, which I would never voluntarily give up.  At that point it would probably be cheaper to just go ahead and buy a commercial license for Magento.  And depending on the cost, we may end up doing that anyway just to avoid any legal gray areas.  The OSL license may be clear as day for a lawyer, but to me it may as well have been written in Chinese.  That’s why I have all these questions.

 
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RoyRubin
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That would be fine for extensions that were written from scratch.  But I’m sure there are some that would be considered derivative works because they are simply modifications of core files.  They are then released under the OSL license as they should be.  I guess my question is if using these derivative works in my store would be considered making a derivative work myself, since my copy of Magento has at that point been modified.

That should be fine. If you are making changes to the extensions, the changes will be then be considered derivative work.

That’s why I have all these questions.

We appreciate the questions and want to make sure the information is as clear and transparent as possible. Some organization are fine with releasing the work while others aren’t. That is why we are providing both options.

 
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i960
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RoyRubin - 24 October 2008 01:40 PM

That should be fine. If you are making changes to the extensions, the changes will be then be considered derivative work.

I won’t be making any changes to any extensions.  If I think a change should be made then I will offer my suggestion to the extension developer and let them decide if they want to make it and then release it.

I have made minor changes to some core files by copying them to the local folder.  It is my understanding now that these are considered derivative works.  The site itself is not live and is not publicly accessible at the moment, so I don’t think I am in violation of the license at this time.  I don’t plan on going live until the new year.  I have a few more specific questions I would like to ask because I want to make sure I am doing everything I can to be in 100% compliance with the OSL license, but unfortunately I do not have the time to ask them right now.  I will get back to you on this tomorrow.  I do appreciate your time in clarifying these matters.

 
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i960 - 24 October 2008 01:34 PM

The OSL license may be clear as day for a lawyer, but to me it may as well have been written in Chinese.  That’s why I have all these questions.

I think the OSL license is pretty clear...here are a few examples:

Example One:
I write a new advanced search script from scratch, I do not have to release as OSL

Example Two:
I edit the existing advanced search script found in the core, I have to release the changes via OSL

Example Three:
I write a 1000 line script that does [enter whatever you like here] AND I add 1 line to a core file to connect my new script to Magento, I have to release my 1001 lines via OSL

Example Four:
Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google co-founders) edit the existing advanced search script found in the core, so that the Google search algorithm is used instead of Variens’, yep you guessed it....all Google code needs to be released via OSL...I’ll leave this court case to somebody else though!!

Example Five:
I purchase a commercial piece of software (forums, tracking, helpdesk, livehelp etc) AND I add 1 line to a core file to connect this new software to Magento...I have a problem.  Basically I should be releasing via OSL my 1 line of edited code PLUS the commercial software but obviously as I do not have the rights to release the commercial software, I cannot do that (unless I want to break the license I bought the commercial software under).  So I guess this means, I simply cannot add any commercial software to Magento.

 
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RoyRubin
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Example One:
I write a new advanced search script from scratch, I do not have to release as OSL

That is correct. You can do as you wish with your own work.

Example Two:
I edit the existing advanced search script found in the core, I have to release the changes via OSL

Correct as well.

Example Three: I write a 1000 line script that does [enter whatever you like here] AND I add 1 line to a core file to connect my new script to Magento, I have to release my 1001 lines via OSL

You have to release the 1 line change, but not your 1000 line script.

Example Five:
I purchase a commercial piece of software (forums, tracking, helpdesk, livehelp etc) AND I add 1 line to a core file to connect this new software to Magento...I have a problem.  Basically I should be releasing via OSL my 1 line of edited code PLUS the commercial software but obviously as I do not have the rights to release the commercial software, I cannot do that (unless I want to break the license I bought the commercial software under).  So I guess this means, I simply cannot add any commercial software to Magento.

I can’t evaluate the restrictions imposed by the commercial license, but I can assure you that the Magento OSL license doesn’t restrict you from linking commercial software to Magento.

 
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