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Re: Plagiarism in the Odoo App Store

by
Serpent Consulting Services Pvt. Ltd., Jay Vora
- 11/04/2015 13:59:04
Well explained Nicholas!
Good job.

On Wed, Nov 4, 2015 at 10:07 PM, Nicholas Riegel <nicholasr@itpediasolutions.com> wrote:

Luke,

Thank you for bringing this to the attention of the Odoo Community. Your first post stated:

"I've noticed a huge amount of plagiarism in the App store with companies taking open-source AGPL-licensed modules, making a very slight modification and then republishing them as their own under a paid license."

Using the words "huge" indicates a large amount of license violations. That is a significant claim. I think it is very important to disclose to the community which apps are violating the AGPLv3 licenses. If there are a huge amount of violations, I want to know about it before I purchase, recommend the purchase of an app, extend, or depend on that app. I am also very bothered by companies and individuals using AGPLv3 / GPLv3 code and not following the "copyleft" obligations of those licenses or changing the license entirely. I encourage you to disclose the violating apps to the app developers and Odoo as soon as possible. If the violating apps are not fixed in 1 week, you should disclose the violating apps to the community list. You may also want to consider reporting the violation to the Free Software Foundation http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-violation.html if applicable (FSF is the sponsor of AGPLv3, GPLv3, LGPLv3, etc)

After reading the messages on this list, I am still surprised how much confusion there is on licenses and how little many software engineers / developers / companies understand the license of their code, and code they import and depend upon.

To my knowledge, mixing AGPLv3 code is compatible with only 1 other license when using Odoo: GPLv3. In this use case, the language in GPLv3 and AGPLv3 require "conveyance" (distribution) of the source to network users is extended to the GPLv3 portion of the code, which has nearly the same effect if that GPLv3 code was licensed under AGPLv3. AGPLv3 and GPLv3 are absolutely NOT compatible with an EULA (End User License Agreement) and other "non free(dom)" software. Quite simply, if your code uses/depends/import on a single line of code licensed with AGPLv3, then the your code must be licensed under AGPLv3. 

Everyone should understand that IT IS NOT a license violation to sell AGPLv3 licensed apps in the Odoo App store.  In fact, the Free Software Foundation encourages software engineers who release their source under a FSF license (like xGPLv3) to be financially compensated for their work. It is also not a license violation to sell an xGPL licensed app/module with little or no changes to the source. This is one of the reasons why there is significant business risk of not fully funding or profiting from the development of an Odoo app released under an xGPL license. Anyone can take your xGPL app and sell it with little or no modification!

I encourage anyone interested in developing Odoo software to READ the ENTIRE portions of the following licenses:
Odoo 8 - Affero General Public License Version 3 - AGPLv3 ( http://www.gnu.org/licenses/agpl-3.0.html )
Odoo 9 Community Edition - Lesser General Public License Version 3 - LGPLv3 ( http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl.html )
General Public License Version 3 - GPLv3 ( http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl )

Nicholas Riegel, CEO / Founder
ITpediaSolutions.com
MD/DC/VA: 240-343-ITPS (4877)
Skype ID: itpedia
Google Hangout: nicholasr@itpediasolutions.com
"Powering our customers into the future by leveraging the distinct advantages of open source software."

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On 11/04/2015 05:17 AM, Luke Branch wrote:
<blockquote cite="mid:4D8D66AF-9DDB-45BC-8E29-F0DD08E71C51@gmail.com" type="cite">
Hi,

Thanks for all the suggestions and feedback everyone.

I do not want or plan to publicly name anyone, as I don't think vigilante justice is the way to resolve any issue.

I will first approach the developers directly in my case to try to resolve the matter directly. If this fails I will bring it to Odoo SA directly through private channels.

I understand completely the copyleft features of AGPL-3, and am completely on board with this, what I'm not ok with is people taking AGPL modules, re-licensing them as they see fit and charging for them.

It would be really great to see some sort of reporting/flagging function in the App Store though. Perhaps something along the lines of facebook's reporting mechanism, where a report can be submitted with proof, without the need for Odoo SA to respond directly unless they feel the need to get involved, as I understand Odoo does not want to open endless discussions about every dispute with real or imagined Infringements.

Sent from my iPhone

On 4 Nov 2015, at 5:41 PM, Martin Trigaux <mat@odoo.com> wrote:

On 04/11/15 03:22, Gunnar Wagner wrote:
> wouldn't it be 'community style' to publish such infringements on this
> list as well (I mean in addition to contacting the 'authorities" via
> apps@odoo.com?
> So the community can deal with it as well? I'd also like to know what
> are the consequences for such a deed from S.A.'s & Community side?

I don't like public shaming and only complaining on channel x without 
actually getting in touch with us is not so constructive[1]. Of course, 
if you have checked with us first, you can tell others about it but I 
really prefer if you do so once the situation is resolved. I don't want 
either to keep a "wall of shame" of apps or sending "we have taken down 
app X because Y" on mailing list (I am wondering, do you have example of 
companies doing so ?).

I tend to think (but maybe I am living in a butterfly world) that people 
are usually not ill intended.
In a previous case of somebody, republishing as closed source a 
derivates of an AGPL app, the devs did not understood the implications 
of AGPL. They were surprised by the complains and did not know they were 
not allowed to do so. So after explanations of the meaning of the 
licenses, the situation got resolved.
Of course this is bad to consider open source as a "I do what I want, 
take everything, give nothing back" (and I didn't think we would need to 
explain that, but apparently we do) but I also think we can give second 
chance to devs.

Then, if we notice several infringements by the same companies, we can 
take actions but it's not the case yet.

By the way, we have received only 2 complains (targeting different 
authors) so far. I don't think we can draw conclusions on plagiarism 
with that (or the others complains did not reached us).

Also, just a reminder, reselling a derivates of a AGPL module *is* 
allowed, closing its source or changing the license is not!

Martin

[1] https://i.imgur.com/91sn32Q.jpg

-- 
Martin Trigaux
Odoo (Formerly OpenERP)
https://odoo.com
https://github.com/mart-e

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