Alfresco shifts to GPL

Matt Asay mjasay at
Fri Feb 23 22:50:37 UTC 2007

It's just poorly written.  It's the GPL requirement (as well as the
requirement of every other open source license that I know):  the terms are
triggered by distribution.  It was early language that we used to try to
help people understand that if they didn't distribute, they didn't need to
open source their code.

This is a residual of earlier language we wrote.  Thanks for calling it out.

> From: Philippe Verdy <verdy_p at>
> Organization: Ordinateur Personnel
> Reply-To: <verdy_p at>
> Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2007 23:42:03 +0100
> To: 'Matthew Flaschen' <matthew.flaschen at>, 'License Discuss'
> <license-discuss at>
> Subject: RE: Alfresco shifts to GPL
> Matthew Flaschen [mailto:matthew.flaschen at] wrote:
>> (...) "Alfresco users may freely modify our source
>> code without contributing anything back to us, provided that they do not
>> distribute these derivative works."  On the latter, maybe it's mixing up
>> contributing back (i.e. copyright assignment) with GPL licensing.
> Forbidding the distribution of modified code is against the GPL. The GPL
> explicitly permits users to use and modify the software, but also to
> distribute the original as well as derived works based on that original.
> If you are not free of distributing the derived version, this is against the
> GPL.
> The GPL just requires the attribution notice (the copyright statement with
> the name of the original software pakage), the explicit exclusion of
> warranty by the copyright holder (unless you have contracted for such
> support directly with that copyright holder which may charge for this
> support and may provide it under some limitative provisions such as
> supporting only the original version and not any derived work), and the copy
> of the GPL licence.

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