Licensing questions

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Issue #72 closed
Guenter Alzinger created an issue


We tried some first steps with ITOM using the plugin SerialIO and now we are thinking about developing one or two plugins, but we are a little bit lost in licensing.

My assumption: I think that the sourcecode of our plugin isn't needed to be published, i.e. we don't must publish it as open source and that we are allowed to sell it. On the contrary modifications of the ITOM-Core sourcecode must be provided to the ITOM community and to the customer who bought our plugin.

How is the judicial situation when we use the SerialIO plugin, i.e. when we use it in our plugin a) without any modification or b) with modifications which meets our needs?

I beg your pardon when you don't have any problems to extract these informations from your website or sourcecode, but I have to ensure this to my boss.

Thank you very much very your help and understanding.

Comments (2)

  1. M. Gronle

    Dear Mr. Alzinger,

    Your assumptions about the overall licensing are correct. Our basic intention is as follows:

    • Anyone can use itom (LGPL) both in commercial as well as open source projects or context
    • The use of plugins depends on their own license. Most plugins (like serialIO) are released under LPGL, too, such that anybody can use them in the same way than itom (the same holds for designer plugins)
    • We allow companies or other persons to develop "private" plugins under other licenses than itom. For example, you can develop a proprietary plugin whose source code has not to be published. In order to make this possible, we added a license exception to all parts of itom that are necessary in order to compile and use a plugin (the so called SDK).
    • If you modify the source code of itom (LGPL), you have to publish this modification (in the "best" case, you use a pull request such that your modification could be accepted for the main branch; however you can also make a public fork of itom and make the modification there)
    • If you modify the source code of any plugin or designer plugin, you have to respect the license condition of this plugin, hence

    What does this mean for your case (if I understood you right):

    Of course you can make proprietary plugins for itom. These plugins can "use" the serialIO plugin based on its dataIO-interface (your case a)). In this case, you only use the plugin, however you don't have to link against it. This is how many other plugins also use the serialIO plugin in order to use its communication interface / protocol.

    If you want to modify the source code of the serialIO plugin or make a modified copy of the serialIO plugin (your case b)), you have to publish this modification under the same LPGL license than the serialIO plugin.

    Our basic idea of the licensing is that we spent a lot of time in order to create such a project like itom. The "only" price is, that we would like that the itom community can benefit from bugfixes and modifications. Nevertheless we tried to create a liberal and open plugin interface, such that companies can put their IP into a hardware or algorithm plugin.

    Maybe it might work for you, that you publish some small changes of the serialIO plugin (either these changes are good and helpful for many people, then we can talk about integrating your changes into the main development branch; or you publish a new plugin based on serialIO under LPGL) and put all your IP into a 2nd or 3rd proprietary plugin.

    I hope that I could answer your questions. If not, you can also directly contact us (for instance under - in this case you can also write in german).

    Best regards

    Marc Gronle

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