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11 March 2010, 15:25

Liferay moves to LGPL

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Liferay, makers of the portal software, are moving from licensing their code under the MIT(X11) licence and switching to the LGPL. The announcement came in a blog posting by Liferay CEO, Byran Cheung, who said that although the MIT(X11) licence had brought benefits due to its permissiveness, a downside was that there were vendors who were redistributing it without any money going to Liferay and without features being contributed back to the community. Cheung said "So not only are these vendors not giving to Liferay and its community, they are forcing other to pay them for a product that is 90% Liferay. If you are a community member, this is irksome because you've invested in that 90% and they are using it without compensation".

Cheung says the LGPL was selected by Liferay because it provides the best benefits of the MIT licence and the best protections against MIT's limitations "without any legitimate detriment to the community". According to Cheung the change would also facilitate Liferay's business plans to evolve a plug-in architecture and developer community, to improve tooling and APIs and in turn become ubiquitous, but would still allow users to modify the software for their own internal use. He also pointed out that recent architectural changes in Liferay will allow the community to modify Liferay's behaviour without modifying the core code. A vigorous discussion over the merits of the licence change ensued in the comments, and more details were given in a Liferay FAQ.


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