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Re: Plagiarism in the Odoo App Store

Andi Becker
- 11/04/2015 23:36:19
Dear Nhomar

You totally misunderstand the GPL v.3!!! Totally! Sorry. I really recommend that you read the licenses before you apply them or simply don't program FREE Open Source Software.

IF you do not have the money, the resources, the time and only pure "willing" then to comply the willing the first trhee most be present.

FREE means not Free like free beer - It means FREE like in Freedom. You have the Freedom to distribute that software either for a price - whatever that price is or you can provide it for free.

There are lots of good and qualified developers out there which don't can afford high priced stuff but still they are good and probably have also another business model than you. They probably have not the money because they live the "INSPIRE TO SHARE" mentality of most of the people in the Free Open Source Community. Most of them provide high quality services even to people who have no money! Free Open Source Software development can be based on money but actually it should better focus mainly on inspire to share.

IF the developer decided put something privative he/she is free to do that and he must be protected/supported byt everybody as much as we protect the freely available ones.

I again recommend that you read the AGPL v.3 as ODOO most modules are still licensed under AGPL v.3 - Putting something private is NOT so easy as it is if you are using GPL v.3. Actually the fact that people have used code from GPL software and than not made on the other hand made their modifications available for others was the reason that we have now AGPL v.3 and the FSF is actually recommending the AGPL exactly beacuse of that reason. Even Service Providers who have to make their sources available! Please read the AGPL v.3

IF you want something freely available publishing something which was done with privative intentions is not legal, you should do your version by yourself.

Again you are totally wrong - please read the AGPL and the GPL and the LGPL and compare them. If you want to make something private release it under GPL and not under AGPL and of course not under LGPL. Or simply distribute your stuff NOT with Software which is licensed under one of the GPL licenses.

Actually I hope that there are more and more companies and people who will make the modules and Themes which cost now some pennies again available for others - even for free - no matter if they have changed something in them or not. This has nothing to do with Plagarism by the way.

HTML-Templates are some kind of special case!

The AGPL license, on the other hand, treats deployment of websites and services as “distribution”, and compels anyone using the software to run a service to also distribute the modified source code.

A very good read I really recommend!

For example, as a service provider you can release the code to your service as AGPL, knowing that no-one else can run a competing service without sharing their modifications with you. In this way you can ensure that all services based on the code have effectively the same level of capabilities. This makes sense when thinking about the distributed social networking projects I mentioned earlier, as there is greater benefit in having a consistent distributed social network than having feature differentiation among hosts. 

This is what they are talking about in the examples. You can easily compare it to OpenERP / ODOO ;-)

By 2014, Kuali had demonstrated open-source ERP systems could be built and operated, with total Kuali membership approaching 100 institutions.[

This would be the comparison to Cloud version!

The Kuali Foundation would be something like OCA in comparison

Their License is AGPL v.3

This is only one of the competitors out there on the market to ODOO and to be honest most of them are using AGPL Licenses if they had not primarily licensed their stuff under GPL v.2 and had lots of contributors already which made license changes nearly impossible! i.e. Moodle, WordPress, TYPO3, Drupal etc. Change their licenses would be a headache for them to be honest!

Both versions of the AGPL, like the corresponding versions of the GNU GPL on which they are based, are strong copyleft licenses. In the FSF's judgment, the additional requirement in section 2(d) of AGPLv1 made it incompatiblewith the otherwise nearly identical GPLv2. That is to say, one cannot distribute a single work formed by combining components covered by each license.

The AGPL v.3 and GPL v.3 changed this 

By contrast, GPLv3 and AGPLv3 each include clauses (in section 13 of each license) that together achieve a form of mutual compatibility for the two licenses. These clauses explicitly allow the "conveying" of a work formed by linking code licensed under the one license against code licensed under the other license,[9] despite the licenses otherwise not allowing relicensing under the terms of each other.[2] In this way, the copyleft of each license is relaxed to allow distribution of such combinations.[2]

AGPL gives you even more possibilities as you can read below! 

If we look back at the four principles of open source that I used to start this article, we quickly can see how AGPL3 has allowed clever commercial companies to subvert the goals of Open Source to their own ends:
  • Access to the source of any given work – By encouraging companies to only open source a subset of their overall software, AGPL3 ensures that we will never see the source of the part (b) of their work and that we will only see the part (a) code until the company sells itself or goes public.
  • Free Remix and Redistribution of Any Given Work – This is true unless the remixing includes enhancing the AGPL work with proprietary value-add. But the owner of the AGPL-licensed software is completely free to mix in proprietary goodness – but no other company is allowed to do so.
  • End to Predatory Vendor Lock-In – Properly used, AGPL3 is the perfect tool to enable predatory vendor lock-in. Clueless consumers think they are purchasing an “open source” product with an exit strategy – but they are not.
  • Higher Degree of Cooperation – AGPL3 ensures that the copyright holder has complete and total control of how a cooperative community builds around software that they hold the copyright to. Those that contribute improvements to AGPL3-licensed software line the pockets of commercial company that owns the copyright on the software.

Chuck’s third point, that AGPL enables predatory lock-in, is an interesting one. There is nothing to prevent anyone from forking an AGPL project – it just has to remain AGPL. However, the copyright owner is the only party that is able to create proprietary extensions to the code without releasing them, which can be used to give an advantage.

However, this is a two-edged sword, as we’ve seen already with MySQL and MariaDB; Oracle adding proprietary components to MySQL is one of the practices that led to the MariaDB fork. Likewise, if Kuali uses its code ownership prerogative to add proprietary components to its SaaS offering, that may precipitate a fork. Such a fork would not have the ability to add improvements without distributing source code, but would instead have to differentiate itself in other ways – such as customer trust.

What has been said here already happened to OpenERP in the past and we have Tryton which took a huge part of great developers, ideas and great projects away from ODOO like it happened recently with MySQL and MariaDB and soon you will see that MariaDB will start dominating with new interesting features - like Fully Encryption!


Dear Nhomar if you don't like those principals than you are free to choose another business model than the one of Free Open Source Software!

Plagarism is something very different! 

When you write code do the following:

The copyright notice should include the year in which you finished preparing the release (so if you finished it in 1998 but didn't post it until 1999, use 1998). You should add the proper year for each release; for example, “Copyright 1998, 1999 Terry Jones” if some versions were finished in 1998 and some were finished in 1999. If several people helped write the code, use all their names.

You should also include a copy of the license itself somewhere in the distribution of your program. All programs, whether they are released under the GPL or LGPL, should include the text version of the GPL. In GNU programs the license is usually in a file called COPYING.

If you are releasing your program under the LGPL, you should also include the text version of the LGPL, usually in a file called COPYING.LESSER. Please note that, since the LGPL is a set of additional permissions on top of the GPL, it's important to include both licenses so users have all the materials they need to understand their rights.

If you are releasing your program under the GNU AGPL, you only need to include the text version of the GNU AGPL.

If you have copied code from other programs covered by the same license, copy their copyright notices too. Put all the copyright notices together, right near the top of each file.

It is very important for practical reasons to include contact information for how to reach you, perhaps in the README file, but this has nothing to do with the legal issues of applying the license.

The copying permission statement should come right after the copyright notices. For a one-file program, the statement (for the GPL) should look like this:

    This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
    it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
    the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
    (at your option) any later version.

    This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
    but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
    GNU General Public License for more details.

    You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
    along with this program.  If not, see <>.
I really recommend that you read this until the End! If you have questions ask the FSF or post it here!

VERY IMPORTANT for ODOO Modules and Themes as they are AGPL v.3 (most of them)

If you are releasing your program under the GNU AGPL, and it can interact with users over a network, the program should offer its source to those users in some way. For example, if your program is a web application, its interface could display a “Source” link that leads users to an archive of the code. The GNU AGPL is flexible enough that you can choose a method that's suitable for your specific program—see section 13 for details.

In other words Website Applications i.e. ODOO-Websites, AGPL licensed Modules and Templates should display a "SOURCE" link that leads the user to an archive of the code. Unfortunately this is done very very rarely!!! as you can read on the complaints about theme_clean when it was taken down, but actually reused for many other modifications.

There is no legal requirement to register your copyright with anyone; simply distributing the program makes it copyrighted. However, it is a very good idea to register the copyright with the US Registry of Copyrights, because that puts you in a stronger position against anyone who violates the license in the US. Most other countries have no system of copyright registration.
It's wise to ask your employer or school, if any, to sign a copyright disclaimer for the work, so they cannot claim to hold it later. Below is a sample copyright disclaimer; just alter the names and program description as appropriate:
Yoyodyne, Inc., hereby disclaims all copyright interest in the program “Gnomovision” (which makes passes at compilers) written by James Hacker.
<signature of Moe Ghoul>, 1 April 1989
Moe Ghoul, President of Vice

i.e. in Iran there is not even a copyright law as a professor stated on a conference, in Thailand a developer who is employed in your company will always own the code even you have written consent from him that you as the company owner will own the code. Therefore it is much better you outsource the development of that code and buy the code incl. the copyright from the other company. In case you still have your employee doing the code than after max ten years all the rights will fall back to him, no matter if you have a written consent from him or not! (quite strange), in other countries in Germany a company can own the code of their employees what they have been done during their employment.

In other words you will always be the copyright owner as the original initiator. If now someone steps in and does not do ANY modification and changes exactly that copy right notice it could be named Plagarism. But if he integrates your stuff in his stuff even it is only a small portion even this might change and his copyright mark will appear on the modified module.

When you look at ODOO repositories it seems to be a very common practice from many devs out there to change that copyright mark just after they have forked it and before they do any modifications.

If you are looking to ENFORCE your rights best practice is mentioned in the FSF FAQ - Assign the copyright of your software to the FSF and you are out of this headache! ;-)

Our lawyers have told us that to be in the best position to enforce the GPL in court against violators, we should keep the copyright status of the program as simple as possible. We do this by asking each contributor to either assign the copyright on his contribution to the FSF, or disclaim copyright on it and thus put it in the public domain.
We also ask individual contributors to get copyright disclaimers from their employers (if any) so that we can be sure those employers won't claim to own the contributions.
Of course, if all the contributors put their code in the public domain, there is no copyright with which to enforce the GPL. So we encourage people to assign copyright on large code contributions, and only put small changes in the public domain.
If you want to make an effort to enforce the GPL on your program, it is probably a good idea for you to follow a similar policy. Please contact <> if you want more information.

It is very good to use an GPL License but with most things in live you do good to read the licenses and UNDERSTAND them before apllying them to your software or before using a Software with a Free Open Source License.

Have a nice day


With kind regards,
Mit freundlichen Grüßen,
Con un cordial saludo,
с сердечным приветом,



CEO/General Manager LisAndi Co., Ltd.


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On Thu, Nov 5, 2015 at 9:57 AM, James Fox <> wrote:


LGPL licensed modules can be distributed freely regardless of whether you had to pay the original writer or not. That writer had the option of putting an LGPL open source license on their code, or not, and they chose to make it open source in the full knowledge that the code could then be distributed. 


2015-11-04 20:52 GMT-05:00 Andreas Becker <>:

In addition to that it is also not a violation if somebody publishes AGPL v.3 / LGPL v.3 or GPL v.3 Licensed Modules, Templates etc. which have been sold or offered in a shop for even lots of money, again for free with free access for everybody with even no changes to the software at all! This could be quite useful i.e. if someone wants to get the open source community involved again in further developing those softwares, but does not have his own resources to do that, nor the financial resources to do that. Also it is usually useful in doing that if you want to speed up development and further improvements! Especially useful now as Version 9 just came out and it would be very useful to get things done and to convert Themes and Modules from Version 8 to Version 9. If those are offered for high prices before you can start adjusting the code this will take much much longer times - or it will be done behind hidden doors and republished much later than it would be useful for all in the community.

What you describe in this paragraph is the definition of plagiarism.

IF you do not have the money, the resources, the time and only pure "willing" then to comply the willing the first trhee most be present.

IF the developer decided put something privative he/she is free to do that and he must be protected/supported byt everybody as much as we protect the freely available ones.

IF you want something freely available publishing something which was done with privative intentions is not legal, you should do your version by yourself.


Saludos Cordiales

CEO at Vauxoo Odoo's Gold Partner.
Nhomar Hernandez

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