Alfresco changes to LGPL open source license

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In a blog post last week, Alfresco CTO John Newton, announced that his company was moving the community version of Alfresco to an LGPL license. Newton explained this was the same license that Jobs used, and it enabled his company to let contributors build applications on top of Alfresco without affecting any proprietary code they may use.

This last point is particularly important from Newton's perspective because he sees this type of application building, using Alfresco as a development platform, happening more often, especially with CMOS expected to become an official OASIS standard some time this year. Newton says they chose the LGPL because "The LGPL code is share and share alike, but you can link it with any proprietary code without affecting the license of that code."

He adds, "We do this in the spirit of making Alfresco available as a CMIS platform and a general ECM platform to build content applications without inhibiting your business opportunities." Journalist Joe Brockmeier, who has been writing about open source for many years, wrote in OStatic post, it provides advantages for Alfresco and its user base, even if it will upset some purists.

"It's not a licensing model that will make free software purists happy, but it does ensure that the core platform is available to all and gives the company a better chance of monetizing the platform," Brockmeier wrote.

The changes won't take place officially until the release of Alfresco 3.3 Community release in March, but Newton says for all intents and purposes, users can consider the new license terms to be in place today.

For more information:
- see John Newton's Alfresco blog post

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