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Re: Indiegogo: Upgrade Odoo Community Edition!

by
Mr James Alfa
- 11/07/2015 05:01:44
Andi,

thank you very much for the detailed answers. I think answers that relate to real contexts like the ones I outlined are much easier for everyone to understand than those in which the meaning is obscured by legalistic or terminological complexity or philosophical diversions.
 

Hi James I am not a lawyer and not a representative of FSF who might know it better. 
Below are only what I would give as answers. If I am wrong please correct me, and explain why I am wrong or mistaken. Thanks

On Sat, Nov 7, 2015 at 1:17 PM, James Fox <james@alfa-industrial.com> wrote:
1) A programmer is considering writing some code and putting it on the Odoo Apps store. They would like to know if they can state 'you can only install this on one instance of Odoo'

No they can not! I think this should be very clear if they read the AGPL or LGPL or GPL what ever versions. Any developer can come and take a module which can be sold or freely available and as long as it is under one of the GPL licenses he can share it for money or for free with others. But he is not entitled to change the copyright or the licenses, if he makes changes or even when he only want to distribute the software parts released under a GPL license.

Actually even when they put the module on the APP store the code has to be available under the AGPL and it has to be stated where even! This is the big difference between GPL v.3 and AGPL v.3. In GPL v.3 you don't need to release your code to the public, while under the AGPL v.3 you have to as soon as you provide it somewhere, even as a service.

Is that correct - what about all the paid for LGPL modules that are now starting to appear on the app store ?  

AGPL licensed modules have the field:- Repository https://github.com/.... but LGPL (paid-for) don't appear to.

IMHO than the developer could take this code and use it for his own purposes and he can legally distribute it anywhere for money or for free. It is up to him. With or without modifications. 

I would see the app store more as some kind of support platform for developers and people who like to contribute to the developer but can't find the developers "donation" button. 

An interesting perspective but as I pointed out above there is no real option to paying money to get an LGPL modules - it is not optional, the code is not accessible otherwise.

 
2) A designer is considering developing a theme. They would like to know if they can buy an existing LGPL theme, modify it and then sell the resultant theme on the Odoo Apps store (or perhaps elsewhere)

Yes they can buy an existing theme - but to be honest this is absolute not necessary as all parts you would need to setup a new theme are available for free already ;-) The benefit of buying a theme would be TIME and time is money, so they won't need to start from scratch. As all templates depend on ODOO they can't run without it they therefore have to have also the same licenses. On the other hand as you can see on Themeforest, they are doing exactly what those developers like to do! Have a look to their terms of conditions and how they define "templates" and GPL. Creating a WordPress Template is very similar when creating an ODOO template. beside that lots of software needed in modern templates JS especially is released under incompatible licenses to the GPL and integrating them would make the THEMES not possible. So IMHO Themes is a Greyzone and you better ask for a clear statement from someone from FSF.

Time definitely is money and buying a theme and then changing it is very much quicker than learning how to build an Odoo theme from scratch. One thing that surprises me though, if what you say is correct then how come nobody has taken the theme_clean which was apparently freely available under AGPL then was pulled and is now only available for Euro 199 under an LGPL license. After all the unhappiness in the community about that unilateral change of licensing, how come nobody has simply rereleased it back to the developer community under LGPL at cost zero - is it just the expense of 199 euros that is stopping them ? Or the idea that odoo SA would be so upset that they would never speak to them ever again ?

 
3) A hosting company is considering offering a hosted version of Odoo and would like to bundle Odoo with (some AGPL + some LGPL) modules. They would like to know if they need to pay only once for each LGPL module or whether they have to pay 100 times, if they have 100 customers who host odoo instances with them

Yes I would say they not even would need to pay any money if they could find someone who shares their codes (modules, themes etc) with them. Have a look around in the ODOO universe and you will find nearly everything here - even stuff perhaps which might only be available in EE.

It is more an ethical point! If I would run my business and I would charge my customers for my services a lot of money in doing that even I don't have to pay for what I am offering to them, than it would be good he would spend money on either developers or on social activities to support those who won't otherwise would ever have the chance to get i.e. "education", This is for example something what we are doing here. We finance our social activities solely with the work we do with Free Open Source Software Products!
 

It's a fair point but a complicated one - even those companies operating and apparently making loads of profit still have to pay taxes on their profits to their states (unless like various international corporations who need not be named they have found a way to divert all the profit to low taxing territories). It might be argued that those who decide to make payments to charities also have an aspect of their own self-interest at heart, as it works to their favour in terms of marketing. We all know of the large energy companies that are more than happy to be seen sponsoring art galleries but less happy when it comes to paying employees a fair rate.

Why not contribute here and even integrate them, use their man (actually woman-power) to upgrade all ODOO models more or less in no time to Version 9.

Inspire to share - is much much better than Mister Scrooge mentality. They really had a great idea and as you can see over 10.000 people donated ONLY 1 Dollar!!! Now think about how happy they would be if now also Jobs would come to them. Hundreds of modules would need to be updated to be compatible with ODOO 9. beside this it would be great to have hundreds of Templates coming along in the next month. All this would be possible with much less money for the benefit of the whole community if we would start to integrate such great ideas and such developers into the upgrading and theming process.

Don't waste time in indiegogo campaigns as this time is your money and exactly this money could already be working for you and everybody if they would be getting the jobs which need to be done. Ask them for a quotation!


Beside that you would do a good job also to show the whole world that Afghanistan (and this is only one example beside many others) has very qualified people, who like to learn, who are great in coding and most of all who like wars like you might hate them and the people starting them. Giving them jobs would be a start to unite the world.

4) An end user is considering installing Odoo within their organisation, including hosting an external website for their customers. They have read about the requirements of AGPL and wonder what they have to do to satisfy the requirement that all visitors to their external website must be able to have a copy of the source code that their website is 'using' - they want to know if they are going to be in a position of being forced to spell out exactly to their competitors how they have created such a nice looking website - eg do they have to explain exactly which of the 6431 apps on the Odoo Apps store they are using, can they remove the 'made in odoo' message at the bottom of each webpage, etc etc.

Yes they have to! Very clear YES! But they could do it like the Kuali Project ;-)

But to be honest what is bad to make the code available for others? They themselves would not have been able if not others would have made their code available for others too before them ;-) So it is a circle of Life in the AGPL - actually it was a major reason why the AGPL actually exists - to get all those service providers up and running and sharing their codes to. The sharing can done quite easily with a git repository or a link list to the repositories of each module developer.

Competitors are not in a better position by the way as they too would need to share their code to them ;-). So it is a great thing the AGPL as things return.

The end-user is going to be much more concerned about their competitors discovering the way in which they have managed to produce such a nice looking website and customer offering than you suggest. Maybe it is possible to persuade end-users that it is impossible to avoid this information becoming immediately apparent to their competitors with the observation "well anyone can look at the website html and odoo's fingerprints are all over that" but it would be a whole lot harder to convince them that they would also have to make a list of the odoo modules that they are using and publish this on their website (don't laugh, I know some people who are concerned that this might be the requirement of using the AGPL core).


Of course they can remove the made in ODOO message of each page as this has nothing to do with copyright. But they have to keep the copyrights in the code! They can put a "Made with Love" on their website instead of it or anything else even simply delete it. Their are already lots of odoo_debranding modules out in the git repositories which are doing exactly that. but even them keep the copyright notices in the modules.

And concerning the copyright notices in the modules you should name the original developer but you can put in your name to as the one who has modified it , perhaps in the form

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
##############################################################################
#   Copyright since 01-11-2015 New Developer (email, website)
#
#   based on:
#   Copyright 2012 - 31.10.2015 Developer 2 
#   Copyright until 2012 Developer 1

followed by the text which should actually appear in every module released under AGPL-3 or LGPL or GPL 

#    This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
#    it under the terms of the GNU Affero 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
#    MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the
#    GNU Affero General Public License for more details.
#
#    You should have received a copy of the GNU Affero General Public License
#    along with this program.  If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.
#
##############################################################################

They have to list the modules they have been taken but they don't need to tell them how they installed them or in which order they have installed them to be usable. I recommend checking out how Kuali is done ;-) It is a good comparison to ODOO as it is also a great ERP System!, but one where Licenses not change over and over again!


Great I will look at how Kuali do it. I think we are really getting some public clarity now on these licensing points (okay so maybe everyone else in the world apart from me was clear already !). How can we make sure that this is not just temporary and becomes buried in the Odoo archives under a mountain of technical queries. 

Cheers

James


Like said before I am not a lawyer or from the FSF so what I was saying above is how I would answer those questions. It would be interesting to get clear answers or even only opinions also from others. Beside that why don't you simply write those questions to the FSF and get their opinion to.

With kind regards,
Mit freundlichen Grüßen,
Con un cordial saludo,
Cordialement,
с сердечным приветом,
เรื่องที่เกี่ยวกับชนิด,
與親切的問候,

 

ANDI BECKER

CEO/General Manager LisAndi Co., Ltd.

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