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Joomla 1.5 Licence: Moving the cheese

Published on Wednesday, 13 June 2007
This is just a little update on the Joomla licencing discussions. I've managed to source a revised copyright and licencing arrangement that supposedly supercedes all previous versions and it does mention commercialisation. Now before anyone panics, what does this mean ?
The licence clause in question comes from a document concerning translation of Joomla! materials, but it does have a specific area for addressing copyright and licencing at a global level, and not specifically aimed at translated materials:

As the contributors do not transfer copyright they instead declare that their code contributions are licensed to Open Source Matters Inc. in a limited and non-exclusive fashion. Limited meaning that Open Source Matters Inc. may only use their contribution if it is released under GNU/GPL for the entire Joomla! CMS (or GNU/LGPL in the specific case of the Joomla! Framework Libraries). Non-exclusive meaning that the contributors are free to do whatever they wish with their own creations including using it for their own releases under any licence they wish (including commercial).

One of the potential outcomes of this clause would be that those who own the code contributions (the Core) could, in effect, release a commercial version as they would all hold joint redistribution rights over it, moving Joomla! from a single licenced model to a dual licenced model (such as SugarCRM). In this way, Johan's words concerning commercial developers needing to keep their code GPL is understandable, as this clause allows an exit for the Core to commercialise the entire Joomla! framework whilst remaining GPLed if they so wished.
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