GPL Licence confusion


(espinet) #1

Hi, I am interested in using Piwik in one of my projects but the FAQ has me confused about the GPL 3 Licence.

Heres a few lines from: piwik.org/faq/new-to-piwik/#faq_45

If you distribute a modified version of Piwik, or a software that includes Piwik as a module, or a website that includes Piwik as a service, you must give access to the code source and publish all the code under the GPL.

The above quote tells me I must give access to my code.

If your product, software, website is using Piwik but all your code stays within your company or server, you have the freedom to keep your code and not apply the GPL License to it. It is therefore allowed to propose Piwik as a service, or rebrand Piwik and sell it as a service to your customers. For example, you can change the header and footer to reflect your brand, change the colors, add new features on your Piwik. As long you don’t “distribute” or sell the product to anyone, you are respecting the GPL license.

The above quote tells me if im not selling Piwik itself I can keep my code.

This is so ambiguous and makes no sense to me…

I want to include Piwik as a module on a product I am building. I am not charging for the use of Piwik, I is only an additional tool that my users will want to use. I will instead be monetizing my product if the user perform specific actions not related to analytics. Am I required to release the source to my entire system?

Thanks


(Matthieu Aubry) #2

You are allowed to charge for Piwik.

If you re-distribute your product, ie. you sell your software with Piwik included, then you must distribute all Piwik source code as well. This is “by default” with PHP as there is no binary, but you would not be allowed to encrypt the code for example. You do not have to give away the source of your software, as long as you just use Piwik as a “plugin” and do not build on top of it.

If you don’t sell your software, but just host it on your server, you do not need to give the source code away.


(Steve) #3

Hi,

We sell a monthly subscription to our ecommerce software. Our software resides on our servers and we do not distribute the code to any other servers besides our own. We would like to include Piwik as a service to our retailers and plan to keep the piwik code on our servers only. In this situation do we have to give away the source of our own ecommerce software?

Regards

[quote=matthieu @ May 5 2010, 09:01 AM]You are allowed to charge for Piwik.

If you re-distribute your product, ie. you sell your software with Piwik included, then you must distribute all Piwik source code as well. This is “by default” with PHP as there is no binary, but you would not be allowed to encrypt the code for example. You do not have to give away the source of your software, as long as you just use Piwik as a “plugin” and do not build on top of it.

If you don’t sell your software, but just host it on your server, you do not need to give the source code away.[/quote]


(vipsoft) #4

We sell a monthly subscription to our ecommerce software. Our software resides on our servers and we do not distribute the code to any other servers besides our own. We would like to include Piwik as a service to our retailers and plan to keep the piwik code on our servers only. In this situation do we have to give away the source of our own ecommerce software?

Steve, the GPL v3 license used by Piwik has no effect on the existing license of your ecommerce software. If you aren’t conveying GPL covered software, the GPL does not create an obligation to provide source where no such obligation previously existed.

Please note that in the future, we may include plugins that are licensed under the GNU Affero GPL v3. Neither license (GPL v3 or Affero GPL v3) would alter the existing license of your ecommerce software. However, if you modify a plugin covered by the Affero license, you are obligated to provide the Piwik and modified plugin source under section 13 of the AGPL.


#5

Hi,

After reading carefully (maybe not enough) this thread, FAQ, and GPL… I must say I’m still not 100% sure about the usage I plan regarding the GPL license. Here it is:

  • our commercial product is hosted at our company
  • this product calls the HTTP REST API from an unmodified Piwik installation, also hosted at my company
  • I want to expose to our customers, not only us, the access to our hosted Piwik web site.

So far, I think we are not distributing Piwik (though Javascript is source code, no?), etc…
It seems OK to me. But we are never too prudent and sorry to ask again: is this usage ok for our commercial product ?

Thanks,
Fabrice


(Matthieu Aubry) #6

Fabrice, it’s OK to use the data generated by Piwik APIs, so please go ahead!


#7

Thx for your feedback.

Actually, I know that there’s no pb using data coming from Piwik APIs.
My question was more on hosting Piwik ourselves + providing our customers with web access to the Piwik GUI (html is kind of data…but javascript…).


(Elam) #8

Hi Matt,

I need some clarification on the license term. Actually i am planning to build a SAAS product keeping piwik as base module and writing an wrapper across it without touching the Piwik code . But we will use Mysql database from our Wrapper and also we are going to bill the customer on subscription basis ?

Whether i need to publish our whole product ?? . how the license term will work

Regards,
Elam


(Matthieu Aubry) #9

as long as you don’t redistribute the code you don’t even have to give it, but if you redistribute the code (for example to customers for them to use by themselves) then we need to look in more details your usage of piwik as per the GPL terms


(Elam) #10

Thanks Matt. we are not redistribute the code to the customer. We are hosting it and provide services to the user

Elam