[plug] Licence use: OSL, Magento

James Bromberger james at rcpt.to
Thu Nov 4 12:46:56 WST 2010

On 04/11/2010 12:23, home at oranges.id.au wrote:
> A friend of mine would like to take the database schema from a Magento
> eCommerce installation and use it to develop and sell licences for a
> non-free piece of software. As per
> http://www.magentocommerce.com/license/ Magento is distributed under
> the OSL 3.0 licence http://www.opensource.org/licenses/osl-3.0.php

"A friend", eh?  Is this the same friend when we go to the doctors and
talk about this friend's unusual rash? :)

> Does anyone have an overview understanding of that licence so we can
> be lazy and avoid reading and trying to understand the entire thing?
> More pertinently, is he allowed to do that?

Well, reference the OSL text at
http://opensource.org/licenses/osl-3.0.php, the licence is fairly easy
to read. It appears that you can copy (1a) and make a derived works
(1b), and you can sell it commercially (2), but you must "/carry a
prominent Attribution Notice reasonably calculated to inform recipients
that You have modified the Original Work/". That's an advertising
clause; if you use their software (and I'd include the schema and
documentation under this unless stated elsewhere), then you'll probably
need to have an "About box" or splash screen that says something like
"Incorporates Magento Technology" or something like that.

> I've read a few items on the web and the OSL seems to be in the realms
> of the GNU GPL[1] but gnu.org says there are notable differences. In
> any case, my friend's interest is not in the 'software code' per se,
> rather the database schema. Are they to be treated any differently?

I'd suggest chatting with the Magneto People and see if they are happy
and what "Attribution Notice" text would be appropriate.


*James Bromberger*
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Email: james /_AT_/ rcpt.to, Web: www.james.rcpt.to
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