Paraphrased from a discussion about how the GPL affects a person's ability to charge for sites in MODx and how it affects their proprietary snippets/modules (in short, it doesn't so much
) ... The conclusion is worth posting a sticky topic, as it seems like this discussion pops up quarterly, as it does on many OS projects. Here's our take on the GPL means for you and for your sites built in MODx:
Legalities (Letter of the Law)
[*] You can use MODx to develop sites for clients. You can host the site or deliver it to the client to host and no one has to release any code back to the project, including modified MODx code, unless you want to. You have to make the MODx core code available to the client, or at least tell them where to find it. You cannot place restrictions on the customer's right to redistribute said MODx code.
[*] If you write snippets as part of developing a site for a client, you don't have to distribute them on GPL if they only call the MODx API and don't change any MODx code. You can distribute them using a closed-source commercial license.
[*] If you modify the MODx code (i.e. anything shipped with the MODx tarball/zip-file) for any reason it must be licensed under the GPL if you choose to distribute the changes. Hosting a site is considered distribution.
[*] You can make money from any of the above because the GPL is only concerned with distribution.
Ethics (Spirit of the Law)
[*] MODx is the result of more than 10,000 hours and 2 years (as of Dec '06). We've donated this project and don't require or ask much of the people that use it. We've spent more real dollars that hours too, and have ongoing monthly expenses that are still not fully covered by donations.
[*] If you make changes to MODx, please share them back with the community. If you choose not to do so, or try to hide the fact a site is running MODx behind an authenticated Manager login, we simply ask that you abstain from using the support forums for any reason whatsoever. In my personal view, the GPL is not about support, but about sharing.
We're working on a "private label" MODx license (and support/distribution mechanism) for developers that want a fully brand-able manager, and we hope to have that resolved along with the 1.0 release.
[ed. note: rethrash last edited this post 9 years ago.]