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Licensing question

Jan 25, 2010 at 6:07 PM

Hi all, I have to admit I am a complete newbie when it comes to understanding open-source licensing restrictions - there are so many variations it seems.

For the particular project, I would like to use Graffiti as a building block for making a vertical market CMS, which I would then sell the right to use it to my clients...I would not be selling source code (mine or GraffitiCMS), clients would simply pay me a monthy fee to use the customized system.

Is this type of use allowed? Am I required to make my customizations open-source as well? I am not necessarily opposed to it, just want to understand if I am obligated to?



Jan 25, 2010 at 6:45 PM


The short answer is: Yes it's allowed. No you don't need to share your customizations for that scenario.

The long answer is that this project uses the Microsoft Reciprocal License (Ms-RL), which you can read the text of on the License tab. The MS-RL is an open-source and free software license. Basically it says:

  1. You can use the source code however you want personally.  You do not have to share it with anyone.
  2. If you share/distribute modified source code to others (which is entirely optional), then the files that came from Graffiti CMS have to keep the MS-RL license. Any other files you write on your own can use any license.
  3. If you share/distribute GraffitiCMS binaries to others, then the original source code (and license) must also be shared. You do not have to share any custom code that you write in separate files.
  4. You don't have rights to the name/logo/trademarks
  5. You agree to use software "as is" at your own risk (i.e. don't blame the authors if anything goes wrong) :)

Only the GPL (and it's derivatives) require you to share any modifications you made.. which I don't particularly care for myself. :)

Jan 25, 2010 at 6:48 PM

Great - thanks!