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Magento licensing query
 
freelance_uk
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Total Posts:  2
Joined:  2009-02-25
 

I am an indepedent e-commerce consultant currently contracted to a leading UK ecommerce supplier. As part of my remit, I am currently researching a number of open source ecommerce platforms that my client can adopt as a base platform and extend (through in-house development) into a commercial product. Magento is on my list

I would like to know the following:

1. Are there any legal implications or restrictions my client needs to factor if they want to extend the platform?

2. Must any extensions my client creates in house be made available to the wider community? If so, are there any stipulations on the pricing or licensing model they can offer?

3. Can my client charge for customisation, set up etc?

4. Must my client state ‘powered by Magento’ on any site they build using Magento?

I understand a commercial license may address some of these points but there is little information available on your site and nobody answers the Varien phone or returns any messages.  There is also a lack of clarity around OSL and AFL and how this would affect the possibilities from a legal perspective.

I’d be grateful for a quick response. My client has significant budget allocated and is ready to go. We just need a few answers in order to make a decision.

Thanks

 
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J_T_
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Total Posts:  1961
Joined:  2008-08-07
London-ish, UK
 

(Not a lawyer)

1. Yes. As per the respective licenses, if you modify Varien-made core files, aside from the template, you have to share these by making them publicly downloadable. If you extend without modifying the core files, through real Modules with classes that extend instead of overwrite core classes, you don’t have to share this code.

2. See 1. AFAIK you can charge for this but the owner becomes the full rights owner and is then allowed to distribute as he/she pleases

3. Yes, charging has never been the issue with FOSS software.

4. Not on self-made themes but all credits have to be kept in the source files.

You really need to spend a day or two studying the AFL and OSL, then get a lawyer on any queries that remain as Varien won’t give you legal advice either.

In short, yes your client can take Magento and build something on top and charge for the lot. They just can’t claim they own the original Magento files. And any doftware that extends OSL software, becomes OSL itself so they carefully need to think how their code interacts with the core code.

 
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freelance_uk
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  2
Joined:  2009-02-25
 

Thanks for your reply. Would you know, if my client was to purchase a commercial license though, what difference would it make to the answers to 1-4?

 
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RoyRubin
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Joined:  2007-08-07
Los Angeles, CA
 

1. Are there any legal implications or restrictions my client needs to factor if they want to extend the platform?

As with any software product, there are always licensing implications to consider. This very much depends on what you want to do with the software.

2. Must any extensions my client creates in house be made available to the wider community? If so, are there any stipulations on the pricing or licensing model they can offer?

If you create extensions that are not derivative works and are thus ‘independent works’, you can license them under any license of your choosing. If you modify core Magento files (typically those files licensed under the OSL license), you are required to license your changes under the same license (OSL), and make them available to the public (distribute).

3. Can my client charge for customisation, set up etc?

Off course.

4. Must my client state ‘powered by Magento’ on any site they build using Magento?

The OSL license does not require attribution

I understand a commercial license may address some of these points.

Magento (today) is provided under a dual-license, open-source and commercial. The commercial license bypasses some of the constraints of the open source license (derivative works, reciprocity, etc.)

Hope this helps.

 
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ecommerce-store
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Total Posts:  181
Joined:  2008-04-16
Roma
 

Hi Rubin

And what about Claud ? Or Saas ? or specialized Hosting ? Seems to be possible with osl3 becouse is a “Service”.

Hope too see a your direct answer

 
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