Adapting our license to the new Odoo

The last two years have seen OpenERP become Odoo and extend well beyond the ERP arena. Today Odoo is a complete software suite to run and grow companies of all sizes. As a matter of fact, it is probably the most complete, fastest evolving and most installed business management software on the planet. An important milestone was the release of a complete CMS & Ecommerce application, fully integrated with all other applications. While those apps have a lot of traction, they are still very far from realizing their full potential – for that we need to break new ground.

In this context, we realized that the current AGPL license, while important to us until now, is not the best fit for the future of Odoo.

Indeed, aside from the thriving community that contributes to the Odoo modules, the new applications like CMS & Ecommerce need to attract other developers, like freelancers and software publishers. These contributors would need to give a lot to enrich the Odoo offering, while getting little in return under the current licensing, as they are not system integrators (and as such do not benefit from fees on services), and under current terms cannot sell modules with the required legal security.Therefore, we will progressively move Odoo from an AGPL license to a LGPLv3 license (Lesser General Public License). LGPL is an open source license recognized as such by OSI and the Free Software Foundation.

In summary, the benefits are as follows:

  • We can open up a true ‘App store’ to the benefit of both customers and publishers willing to invest in fully packaged, ready-to-use apps as long as they get some financial compensation. This is key for our CMS & Ecommerce but will benefit other apps too.
  • End users will be able to use standard proprietary modules published by large companies that are key for their business (e.g. UPS/Fedex connectors for ecommerce shipping).
  • The license remains ‘Copyleft’ which means we retain solid protection provided by those types of licences.
  • Customers using the CMS do not need to fear having to release the whole source code of their Odoo implementation to every website visitor.
  • The license is compatible with AGPL v3 which means that modules under this licence will continue to be usable with Odoo. We however advise current owners to migrate to LGPLv3 too.
  • We put together a full comparison of options in this spreadsheet. Additional information can be found in our FAQ section.

    We understand that a change of license often triggers a heated debate in the open source community. Nevertheless, we are convinced that the new licence provides a better balance between the freedom of open source and protecting the rights of contributors, whoever they are.

    We are convinced that this new license is key for the future of Odoo and we count on our community to support us throughout the change.

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